04 February, 2008

Why Politics Make Me Cry...sometimes

The last time I remember crying because of politics, I was 8, and Bush Sr. had just lost to Clinton. Now I find myself heavily invested in politics again, but this time, all of the potential I see has brought out this emotional response. I'm not the only one reacting this way. Across our country, a wave of the sorrowful past is crashing down. We ride the crest on the swells of Yes, we can.

Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices crying for change

I have been following this election closer than I have followed any other. For the past year, ever since Barack Obama announced his candidacy, I have been glued to polls, fund raising estimates, outbursts and politicos. I was fascinated with Obama after the 2004 Democratic Convention. I am even more fascinated with him now.

It is funny to think that I fall directly into my demographic; pre-to-post-college grads. It's also funny to realize that all of my friends except one or two are supporting him with me. It says something about how I've changed and something about how my friends have changed.

My earliest memories about Bill Clinton (that made an impact) had to do with disgrace and adultery. He taught me a great deal about adult life and the consequences therein. I also grew up listening more to impersonators of Clinton on Rush Limbaugh's Radio Show than I did to Clinton making speeches himself. My fondest memories of Hillary are tied into a remix of "All I wanna Do"(...is rule the world), sung by someone sounding like the First Lady. An auspicious backdrop to be sure.

I like both candidates, but Obama has resonated with many of the ideas and ideals that I hold to be precious. Consistently, he has offered policy ideas that make perfect sense to me. I find him to be a student of history, not a revisionist; he is someone willing to stare the ugly parts of this country in the eyes and not back down.

Quick note on why I'm voting Democrat:

I simply find their attitudes towards the people of the world to be closer to what Jesus meant when he said "Love Your Neighbor." Of course, there are bad people that call themselves democrats, but even a system that doesn't work perfectly is better than a system that promotes unrestricted capitalism (which I think is a pretty good economic idea, but sucks as a religious one). One side of the aisle glosses over the sins of the past while the other gives them a glossy finish, framed on the wall of "progress." Like I've said before in previous posts (here and here), I'm firm in my belief that we all need to think globally, not just nationally, or as a state. We are all interconnected communities. Man's actions and political policies do not happen in a vacuum. I think that some of the ideas and strategies of the republican party could work, I simply think that these strategies have other interests in mind. This sort of thinking runs both ways. I want a president who understands these realities and wants to reconcile the damages of the past decade. I grew up in the Newt Gingrich era of super-partisanship. The way to get something done in politics was to divide and conquer with superior numbers and filibusters. I believe that it is time for something new, something hopeful.

I want to post soon about my neighborhood. I've got the title written already.


liz digitale anderson said...

yes, yes, yes.
we really need to get together soon.

Anonymous said...

You got some 'splaining' to do son... This is not how you were brought up...

Chris said...

Heh, but come on...who's surprised?

JP Paulus said...

i vote Democrat because in the city of Chicago, the LOCAL offices are really decided in the Dmeocratic primary. If you when then, barring any major scandal, you will be in office when the time comes. It's sad that the Green Party & Republicans don't have a real voice, except for the major offices (like when i voted Green for Governor).

i would warn to not put much faith in the Party, otherwise you'll be as guilty as white evangelicals have in regards to the Republican party.

Party affiliation can be a good guide, but i heartily advise to do more research.

i voted against Democrat Carol Moseley Braun in 1998 for US Senator, because she had friendly relations with the Nigerian dictator. That riled me because many of my neighbors in Uptown were Nigerian. i voted for Republican Peter Fitzgerald, and i am glad he did. One of Fitzgerald's last acts was to appoint Patrick Fitzgerald to US Attorney, who has since prosectued everyone from George Ryan (a Republican) to Scooter Libby, and now into The Mayor & Governor's offices (Democrats).