President Obama: Andy Ostroy at Huffington Post must give a reason
I was looking through the net today, trying to get back on pace with the Presidential election, and I ran across an interesting post by Andy Ostroy on the Huffington Post. Its title is Why Obama Must Become President.
The post is filled with problems. Problems about America’s racial past, our economic current, and our unsure future. It highlights the failures of the President Bush Administration, and several points that I’ve heard ultra-liberals spout since Democrats started announcing their intention to run in 2007. And not once does it give a reason to vote for Senator Obama.
Mr. Ostroy correctly points out the many hurdles that were in the way of a Senator Obama nomination. He hints at the racial bias and emphasis used against Senator Obama throughout the primaries. He even quickly glanced over the fact Senator Obama has virtually no experience. But none of those are reasons to pick a President.
His main reasons why Senator Obama should win can be summed up in these 3 things:
He is Black
He is not President Bush
It’s a good thing for the Democratic powerbase
Now I would love to see a Black President in my lifetime. I agree that
“America needs to get over itself and finally break down these walls of racism. It's time that its citizens stop viewing each other through the prism of color, and focus instead on the person beneath the skin.”
But a President is more than just a color barrier. Racism is a major issue in America, I know because I have lived with its influence in my life. But it is not the only nor main issue in America.
“Whites would finally be presented with a black president and be forced to confront their inherent fears, while hopefully accepting the cultural reality that success or failure in the Oval Office has nothing to do with race. And for some blacks, they would no longer be able to hide behind the contention that the "system" is keeping them down, and instead assume a greater responsibility for their own successes and/or failures.”
This is all true. A Black President would be a great force in defeating stereotypes and excuses all too readily used and portrayed in the media and many people’s lives.
But how would Senator Obama’s color change the economy? How would his eternal tan prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons? How would the breakdown of stereotypes end the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, or disuade groups like Al Quida from attacking Americans?
Race is a central theme in America, but it has little power over national economics, international policy, or national defense – to name a few issues.
So I have to reject the premise made by Mr. Ostroy that
“But if Obama loses to McCain in November, that will be an even greater statement of where America is with regard to race. That a candidate from a severely weakened party, who votes in virtual lockstep with Bush, could beat Obama while voters voice that they so desperately want and need change, would signal that having a black president is, in 2008, perhaps too much change.”
The election in November is not about what race the majority of Americans want to lead the nation, but who is the best person. The best person with the best plan – that can realistically be implemented – is the person who should win. That may or may not be Senator Obama, but you would never be able to know from Mr. Ostroy’s post.
Is President Bush’s apporval rating low? Yep, and those of the 2 year Democrat-led Congress are even lower. Government as a whole has failed the American people on many levels. Each party has failed to live up to promises and expectations. President Bush has failed to recognize and react to his mistakes in a timely manner, and the Democratic Congress can’t stop trying to blame the Administration for every ill known to man and actually pass a few of the laws they polispoke their way into office for.
Yet neither potential Presidential candidates has a last name that remotely sounds like Bush or Pelosi. Thus change from the abysmal political leaders of this nation, whether Democrat or Republican, is assured. The question that remains is which is best.
The energy problem in America is the result of 30 years of both political parties failing to act. The only actual answer is to say that America will investigate all energy avenues – including domestic drilling, nuclear, new refineries, switching to sugar and grass based ethanol as well as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and so on. But neiter political party is willing to say that, and the candidates both seem unwilling to annoy some of their political followers in favor of a real solution for the nation.
Similar statements can be made about real fixes to Social Security, Education, and the Economy. But when it comes down to it, one of the biggest issues facing this election is experience, not color.
Does America want a President that has decades of experience, or a candidate that will be learning on the job. Both have their good and bad points. Neither involves race. To say that it does is to overstate an issue and bully some into acting in a manner they don’t believe in. That’s wrong.
Mr. Ostroy makes a great emotional post. It sets up a wonderful argument over the importance of how the media and politics still use race to make the playing fields uneven. If this were an election for Govenor, or Mayor, then it might make more sense; but this is about the President and in all honesty it is not a priority.
I have long said that all fanatics are wrong no matter what the cause or reason, and that any decision made based on a fanatical view is misguided in the least. I feel that is true of suicide bombers, bailouts for dumb economic decisions, and elections.
If you want to vote for Senator Obama, or McCain, have a reason. Race is not a reason but a cause if it is the only basis for the decision. It’s fanatical reasoning, and in my eyes therefore inherently wrong. There are reasons to vote for either, and your vote does count. Don’t waste it on just one issue that does not resolve any other issue America will face in the next 4 years or decades. If you do I guarantee that you won’t like the result.
Labels: Andy Ostroy, Congress, energy alternatives, ethanol, huffington post, Nancy Pelosi, nuclear energy, Polispeak, President George Bush, Senator Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, Social Security