While I wasn’t alive in the sixties, I am familiar with JFK’s famous inaugural quote “ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country”. Similarly, Barack Obama invokes a similar call to action in his speeches: “our campaign has always been different is because it’s not just about what I will do as President, it’s also about what you, the people who love this country, can do to change it.”
Do you see this happening? After eight years of American citizens seeing what can happen when one individual is given too much power, do you feel that Americans will be more willing to act? More willing to not only vote this fall, but also to promote change or action on a local level? Will more people attend city hall meetings, will more people discuss and debate higher-level politics on an SDMB-type forum? Will there be more promotion and discussion amongst friends and family, more communication with ones local Representatives and state Senators?
McCain certainly has the experience and ability to run a country from a position of executive power, affecting change a national and international level. However, it doesn’t seem like he has the ability (or charisma, if you will) to rally the locals to take control of their own lives and communities. It seems like Obama has this capacity, if only inasmuch as he is making citizens aware of their personal responsibilities to themselves and each other.
Can Obama “run” the country like McCain can? Probably not. But Biden probably can. Biden has the national and international experience that Obama lacks. Biden will be, in a sense, running the government machine, taking on more and more of the day-to-day operations to promote international peace, a national health care plan, dealing with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; Obama will be out amongst the citizens, being the sort of leader that the country needs to help them realize that they can’t rely on just one person to run the whole show. They need to start relying on themselves, on a state level, a county level, a city level, a household level and a personal level. It is not the President’s job alone to make sure everything is all right for us; it is our job, as the People of the United States of America.
It seems like under a McCain/Palin administration, the country will be silenced with a Republican pacifier, with mommy and daddy whispering to us every night “Everything is juuuust riiiight… we’re here for you, baby… don’t worry your pretty little head, just go to sleep and dream that American dream.”
But under an Obama/Biden administration, the country will be told “We’re working here in Washington to keep the country safe and productive, but you guys need to start picking up your share to help keep it that way… We’ve seen what’s gone on along the roads passed, and while we have a long and hard road ahead of us, by working together we can all live our American dreams.”
Is this how you see an Obama administration? Do you think the country would take the same action under a McCain administration?