Up until this point in the presidential campaign, I have supported John Edwards, as the candidate who I believe has talked most about the issues I care about – and who has taken positions which most comport with my own. But with an Edwards nomination increasingly implausible, I am considering a turn towards Barack Obama.
In his victory speech Saturday in South Carolina, Senator Obama made one of the most compelling cases yet that his focus on the process of politics matters as much or more than anyone else’s promises about what the product of their election might be:
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has spent more time bashing George Bush, criticizing Republicans, and reminding voters that the right-wing has long loved to attack her. But when it comes to offering voters a real vision that would move the country past the division of the Bush era, it is Obama who has the most to offer of the pair.
Obama should be lauded, too, for asking voters to put something of themselves into the process. While Edward pledges to be the “voice” for those who support him, and
Because in the end, we are not just up against the ingrained and destructive habits of
The truth of this comment reminds me also of the tiff over Senator Clinton’s comments about Martin Luther King, Jr - and how it "took a president" (i.e., Lyndon Johnson) taking the action of passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for Dr. King's dream to "[begin] to be realized". While I do not believe that
For months before this scuffle, Obama has been telling voters that “real change happens from the bottom up.” If you consider for a moment that it was Richard Nixon who instituted affirmative action on a federal basis, you will know that change does indeed come from below. We need to elect the best leaders, but we also need to hold them accountable, and demand that they act on the pressing challenges we face. There is no one candidate or politician of the status quo – our political system, deeply flawed by the influence of money, pulls everyone in that direction. Even a President Obama would have to be held accountable. But at least he has called on us to do the job.
In the end, then, it is not what he promises voters but what he demands of them that makes Barack Obama’s campaign so inspiring. The president who Obama has been compared to famously said to “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Forty-seven years later, your country needs you more than ever.