Saturday, April 05, 2008
Why I Love Barack Obama
I find it fitting that I go from dedicating 8 straight posts about professional wrestling to talking about U.S. Politics. At the end of the day, the two are really not all that different. Both have very compelling storylines, interesting characters, major players provide stunning turns at the most opportune of moments, and are masked with "smoke and mirror" techniques aimed at guarding the truth.
Don't believe me? Well last month Randy Orton tried to so hard to prove that he belonged in the Main Event, which appeared to be all about Triple H and John Cena, in the end, he was able to win after his two opponents beat one another up. Can we say the same about John McCain proving his worth as a legitimate contender after all of the focus has been on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton?
Also, which do you think was closer to the truth, Floyd Mayweather getting $20 million for his match at Wrestlemania, or Hillary getting shot by snipers when she landed in Bosnia? And don't even get me started on Clinton's stance on the Iraq War, that was a clear attempt at her pulling off a "double turn", but like everyone of them in wrestling since Hart-Austin, they have all failed miserably.
In wrestling there is usually a clear cut good guy, or face. The face does the right thing, no matter what the odds seem to be. Well, for the first time in my lifetime, I genuinely feel that there is a face in the political arena, Barack Obama.
It's been a while since I have done a "Why I Love" style post, but I firmly believe that there are a number of reasons why he is the right choice, not only for America, but for the world as a whole.
1. He was Against the War from the Start -- He knew from the get go the harsh realities of the Iraq War, and voted against a war that he knew would destabilize the region, build up anti-American sentiment, and lead to a long and bloody occupation. Can't really say the same about Hillary now can we?
2. Re-branding -- I read a fantastic article by Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic, titled "Goodbye to All That", where he talks about his love of Barack Obama. One of his points really hit home to me, he mentions Obama as someone who can change America's "Brand" to the world. He stated the following:
"Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can."
Simply put, Obama's multi-cultural nature is one his best things going for him. It sure would be a lot harder for people to burn images and effigies of Barack Obama than it would be of George Bush, and that can really only help things at this point.
3. Courage -- Barack Obama dumbfounds me with the amount of courage he shows. Do you think that Hillary Clinton or John McCain would have the guts to say that racism still exists in the United States and that African-Americans need to stop blaming whites for their own problems?
If you haven't seen his "A More Perfect Union" speech, dedicate the next 37 minutes of your life to this YouTube clip.
4. He Rarely Plays the Race Card -- Sure he mentions his own ethnicity when delivering the above speech, but rarely throughout the campaign has he brought up the fact that he is black. It's refreshing, especially when compared to Clinton's earlier stunts where she reminded everyone that she's a woman.
5. He knows the Battle Lines --To me, this is by far the biggest pro for Barack Obama. One of his key points has been about political lobbyists and his insistence on not letting them run Washington. This my friends, marks the first major shot in the political battlefield of the 21st century. So much of the 20th century was about drawing lines and trenching in, from Democrat-Republican, liberal-conservative, Evangelical-secular, capitalist-communist, and well things are different now, and Obama is the only one who has mentioned the new line, Corporatism-Individualism.
People have spent so long debating things like abortion and same-sex marriage, they have lost sight of the new form of control and major issue taking place in the world today. Corporations have been slowly gaining an incredible amount of power thanks to bodies like the WTO, and a variety of government policies.
This rise of Corporatism has lead to mass consumption on a completely unsustainable scale, a weakening of the US Health Care System (and threating of the Canadian one), limiting access to information, and the illegal invasion of Iraq, just to name a few things. All of these things have slowly been taking place behind the backs of the public, courtesy of some very powerful political lobbyists. Even the war on Iraq had massive approval in the United States because people "didn't know" that the claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction were fabricated, despite the knowledge being widespread throughout Europe.
I am not so naive to think that Obama can dismantle the dizzying clout that major corpotation have in a capitalist system, but he is the only major candidate (note: Ralph Nader doesn't count as major) to even mention this issue. While everyone is well aware that the nature of war has changed, everyone seems to think that the antagonists have shifted from communists to terrorists, and that simply is not the case. As I said back in January, the new wars are going to be about The Individual vs. The Collective, and right now the Corporations are the Collective, and Barack Obama is the champion of The Individuals.
6. I Want to Believe -- I'm sure Obama has his faults, but for some reason I just can't help but get caught up in this Obama-mania, I feel that he is someone different, which is what we all need, so very, very badly.
Until next time,