Cross posted at The Daily Kos
Yes, I’m fighting it, not outwardly, but the inner struggle is what I am referring to. I’m fighting Obamaphilia…
What the Cult of Obama doesn’t realize is that he’s a politician. Not a brave one taking risky positions like Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich, but a mainstream one. He has not been firing up the Senate with stirring Cross-of-Gold-type speeches to end the war. He’s a politician so soft and safe, Oprah likes him. There’s talk about his charisma and good looks, but I know a nerd when I see one. The dude is Urkel with a better tailor.
All of this is clear to me, and yet I have fallen victim. I was at an Obama rally in Las Vegas last month, hanging at the rope line afterward in the cold night desert air, just to see him up close, to make sure he was real. I’d never heard a politician talk so bluntly, calling U.S. immigration policy “scapegoating” and “demagoguery.” I’d never had even a history teacher argue that our nation’s history is a series of brave people changing others’ minds when things were on the verge of collapse. I want the man to hope all over me.
I want to resist, I really do. I’ve got my inner cynical to fight, but there is something more than that, something that’s more important to me and that is my own sense of hope. Corny, I know.
But my philosophy is, hope for the best, prepare for nothing less. That’s right, I hope for the best and tell myself that if I don’t get that, I can deal with the worst later. It’s not naive, I am also one of those people that believes our point of view can greatly increase our own inner wellbeing.
The irony of this? I struggle with chronic depression and yet I still push everyday for the best. I smile and I try to be as kind and gentle with everyone, I turn the other cheek and I sometimes weaken and say things I regret. But, I still hope for the best and I rely on faith, in myself, in the universe and in life that things will work out, those things that I cannot control will fall into place with or without my hope, so I might as well be positive. What’s the harm?
I know, there are those who see plenty of harm, but this isn’t blind faith, I am aware of so many things, in fact, I tend to be the kind of person who does care too much and if I didn’t push forward with my silly optimism, I probably wouldn’t be able to get out of bed everyday.
I was talking to the receptionist of my company one day and I said, damn, I grouchy, I’m having a bad day. She said, “What? You grouchy? No you are not, I love that you are always smiling and that you always take time to say hello. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a bad mood!”. That meant a lot to me. I do believe that we can affect those around us, that the small things we do matter and I imagine if every single one of us attempted to be a little kinder, a little more patient and a little more hopeful, it could change the world. People say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
So, fuck you say? How the hell could I resist Obamaphilia? I can’t. I believe if you go into a fight thinking you can’t win, then you’ve already lost half the battle. I believe that if you can’t talk big then how can you dream big? And if you can’t imagine the change you want to be, then how can you even start?
Stein talks about how his mother just doesn’t get it, she fears for all those young people and the eventual heartbreak that life is so good at handing us.
Obama is Peter Sellers in “Being There.” As a therapist, she’s seen the danger of ungrounded expectations. “You feel young again. You feel like everything is possible. He helps you feel that way and you want to feel that way; it’s a great marriage. Unfortunately, the divorce will happen very quickly.”
“We want what he represents,” she said. “A young, idealistic person who really believes it. And he believes it. He believes he can change the world. I just don’t think he can.”
Thing is, I’ve watched too many movies and read too many novels; I can’t root against a person who believes he can change the world. The best we Obamaphiles can do is to refrain from embarrassing ourselves. And I do believe that we can resist making more “We Are the World”-type videos. We can resist crying jags. We can resist, in every dinner argument and every e-mail, the word “inspiration.” Yes, we can.
But I agree with Stein and it’s the reason I’ve come around. Oh, I have also spent a couple of nights at Obama’s website. He has plans, I see that and I find that argument against him to ring hollow. I’m ready for something other than more of the same. And even though my concerns are many, from the Reagan comments to the lack of mandates, I have decided that hope outweighs these concerns and that it’s okay to hope for the better rather than prepare for the worst.
And there is another thing, Obama visited New Orleans and he said the following words…
So many of us live a life that is ordered, with comforts we can count on. Somewhere, we know, there are people who don’t have a house with a sturdy roof; who have nowhere to go when they can’t make rent; who don’t have a car to drive to another city when a storm is coming; who can’t get care when they’re sick, or get the education that would give them a chance at their dreams.
But too often, we lose our sense of common destiny; that understanding that we are all tied together; that when a woman has less than nothing in this country, that makes us all poorer.
We are tired of being disappointed by our politics. We are tired of being let down. We’re tired of hearing promises made and ten-point plans proposed in the heat of a campaign only to have nothing change when everyone goes back to Washington. Because the lobbyists just write another check. Or because politicians start worrying about how they’ll win the next election instead of why they should. Or because they focus on who’s up and who’s down instead of who matters.
And while Washington is consumed with the same drama and division and distraction, another family puts up a For Sale sign in the front yard. Another factory shuts its doors forever. Another mother declares bankruptcy because she cannot pay her child’s medical bills.
Each of us running for the Democratic nomination agrees on one thing that the other party does not – the next President must end the disastrous policies of George W. Bush. And both Senator Clinton and I have put forth detailed plans and good ideas that would do just that.
But I am running for President because I believe that to actually make change happen – to make this time different than all the rest – we need a leader who can finally move beyond the divisive politics of Washington and bring Democrats, Independents, and Republicans together to get things done. That’s how we’ll win this election, and that’s how we’ll change this country when I am President of the United States.
So you see, I have to believe, there is something in me that cannot fight hope, that cannot fight possibility and cannot fight another chance for something to change. Does it mean it will work for sure? No. Does it mean that anything is guaranteed? Of course not, there are no guarantees in life. I’ve long ago accepted that there are many things that are out of my control, but I’ve also taken on the responsibility to be in control of those things I can change. Perception is a powerful tool and rather than doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, I can change how I interact with the world and I can fight for change in my own way.
If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.
Martin Luther King, jr.
And lastly, I am supporting Obama in spite of the many people at this site that have acted so poorly and call themselves an Obama supporter. You do not do yourself or Obama any favors when your arguments prey on fear, on doubt and on hate. I’ve been saddened to see so many negatives come from this site and I realize that just as Obama is a mere human being, so are all of us. So just think before you type, breathe before you yell and ask yourself if what you are about to say is going to further hope or continue the same old bullshit of looking down and belittling anyone who doesn’t not see what you see or believe what you believe?