No, I do not think Obama is the new Messiah

Consider yourself heard. Obama would, whether you realize it or not, completely agree with the sentiments stated here–there does not have to be an implied moral gulf. We all share the same values, we just disagree about how to protect them.

By the way, I’m pretty damn enthusiastic about Obama. Messiah? No. But ideologically he’s up there, for me, with Nelson Mandela, Reverend King and the Dalai Lama (and I believe he has just as much potential to do lasting good in the world as they have.) I’m reading one of his books right now, and it’s blowing my mind how much he is the politician that I’ve always wanted the chance to vote for. I feel like at last someone is reflecting my values, writing down my private contemplations in books and using my most cherished intellectual ideals as a political platform. I got screwed out of voting in the Primary, so you bet you’re ass I’m going to be out there, and vocal, this November. Maybe I’m the crazy fanatic everyone talks about. I don’t see him as a politician. He just happens to be running for office at this time. In my opinion Obama and what he stands for are WAY bigger than this election or any partisan nonsense. My respect and admiration for him predates his decision to run for President.

I think people like me are being misunderstood. I’m not freaking out over a political candidate. It’s not about Obama–even Obama gets that, and has said as much in his speeches. Obama is the leader and the messenger–a great man–but not the thing that has me so excited. I could never get this excited over a mere human being. I’m freaking out over the mainstream acceptance of ideas that I never in the world hoped would be accepted and acknowledged as important. Obama’s huge support base represents the fact that there are others out there who think like I do, and hurt for our country in the same way, who want to help and whose actions are motivated by their belief in the fundamental goodness of humanity.

How is that not the most exciting thing ever?

Don’t forget the fava beans.

Go right ahead, then. I can’t summon the ability to agree OR sympathize with Carmichael’s approach, of calling those with whom he disagrees "evil’, or even of denying their basic humanity.

That attitude is childish and irresponsible. But we see it in great quantities, even here on this board, and even among those who claim their support for a particular candidate is based on his claimed ability to transcend exactly that same sort of shit they themselves espouse.

Damnit! Didn’t I tell you to stop getting your talking points from Rush?

Did you know his middle name is Hussein? And he went to a terrorist school in Indonesia? And that he took his oath of office on a Koran?

One of those is actually true, too.

Yeah, you’re one of those types.

With all due respect, your post contained not a single concrete policy position. Most of Obama’s job will involve management, not inspiration.

Personally, I just want policy grounded on fact and professionalism with a little universal health care thrown in. [1] Those who seek enlightenment from their elected reps are headed for disappointment.
[1] Obama does not propose universal health care, though his plan does cut the share of uninsured. McCain’s plan will increase the share of uninsured, but more to the point he wants to shift coverage away from employer policies and towards private insurance. That seems to me to be bad politics and worse policy.

With all due respect, you underestimate me. Just because I didn’t talk policy doesn’t mean it isn’t the basis of my vote.

As do I. Obama wants to move health care away from privatization–I’m for that. I think health care ought to be considered a right and I believe it’s absolutely the responsibility of the government to ensure that everyone has it.

Obama wants to raise taxes–I’m for that. I strongly support taxation. I don’t get people who think this money is somehow theirs and the government is taking it away from them. You pay your dues for the privilege of living in a civilized society, for having a police force, paved roads, and a generally supportive infrastructure. You taxes support government programs like welfare to ensure that you don’t live in a crumbling society filled with impoverished, desperate, potentially violent people. This is also the responsibility of the government.

Obama wants to create a new energy industry–I’m for that. I’d like to see this country move away from dependence on oil–any oil, not just foreign–and seriously address issues like carbon emissions and their impact on climate change.

Obama wants to grant civil rights to homosexuals–I’m extremely, passionately for that. I don’t think he takes a strong enough stance on this, personally, but he’s more progressive on this issue than anyone else has dared to be in a long time. I believe he will get to job done–I believe that if he is elected, in my lifetime gays will have the right to health insurance, hospital visitation, property inheritance and all that other stuff straight people have enjoyed for years.

Obama wants to protect a woman’s right to an abortion. While I’m not overly militant on this issue, I’m definitely for that. He also wants comprehensive sex ed in schools–I’m for it.

Obama wants death penalty reform–me too. I don’t agree with Obama’s position on the death penalty (he believes there are cases where it’s okay, and I don’t think it’s ever okay), but he is at least aware that there are serious injustices built into the system.

Well, there are a few to get you started. I am going to vote for Obama because I agree with his policy positions more than I agree with the policy positions of any other candidate.

He is, after all, a liberal-- not just any liberal, but my kind of liberal–the kind who believes that we do share universal values and does not wish to alienate anybody who sees things differently than we do. The kind who spent years working in communities trying to understand how the abstract policies of our government affect the concrete realities of people who live here. I have spent time alongside my studies volunteering in urban and rural communities and now, working for a nonprofit, and soon, getting a degree in nonprofit management, because I am absolutely fascinated by the relationship between policy and social justice. I may not ever practice law and become a politician like Obama did, but we are cut from the same ideological cloth. I realize not many people are going to understand that, because not many people think the same way I do. But Obama does. He is motivated by the same things that motivate me. That is worth more than an election to me.

Thank you, olivesmarch4th. I’m right there with ya. I’ll even take it a step further and say I believe Obama is the man for the times; he’s what this country needs right now.

Eight years ago my guy was McCain. Despite his affiliation with the Republican party I was going to vote for him. I’d totally bought into the straight talk persona he’d cultivated. I defended McCain-Feingold to my friends, and hand-waved Keating, while constantly pointing out his mea-culpa. I took McCain as a man who’d been through more than most in his life, made mistakes along the way, yet tried to make up for them in his public service career. He excited me much, much more than Gore, who I, at the time, felt was somewhat of a hypocrite because of his family’s history with tobacco.

It should be much harder for me to vote for Obama than it is simply because McCain is in the race, but it isn’t. The forces controlling the Republican party are bereft of all honor, continuing to gleefully employ methodologies that personally demonize their opponents, eagerly promoting fear and hatred, justifying thinly-veiled racism and bigotry, and out right lying in order to sufficiently propagandize their base.

These forces, unfortunately, now control John McCain, a man who, again unfortunately, has become desperate enough to be easily controlled, giving in completely to the dark side in a last-ditch attempt to become president of the United States at any cost.

Look, CircleofWillis, here’s how it is: Even though McCain is not a conservative at all by many conservatives’ standards, he is the Pub nominee, which by default, ipso facto, willy-nilly, makes him the current face of the modern ideological conservative movement – that coalition of big-biz interests, economic libertarians, religious-social conservatives and foreign-policy hawks that ran Goldwater in '64, took over the Republican Party in the ‘70s, triumphed with Reagan in 1980, and disgraced themselves with GWB. McCain’s choice of a religious RW like Palin for running mate only cements him in that position. And said movement really is evil and stupid and all the rest of it, as five minutes’ lurking on Free Republic should make clear. So that’s why you risk getting tarred with the same foul brush. It might not be fair, but it’s far from incomprehensible.

As for Obama, all this “messiah” talk means nothing but that the Pubs are pissed off that the Dems have finally found their Reagan – a figure they can not only vote for but really feel enthusiastic about at a visceral level. Plus Obama actually has brains.