Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I Like Smart People

I have said as little as I possibly can about George Walker Bush. It isn't healthy for me to think about him too much, to think that some people in America were stupid enough to vote for him--some were stupid enough to vote for him after he'd spent four years demonstrating his incompetence. There seems to be no floor low enough to support some peoples' sense.

I like the idea that our next president might be an intelligent human. A thoughtful person. I like the idea that the next president might be smarter than me. More eloquent than me.

I like smart people.

That's why I'm an Obama guy.

John McCain is not a bad man. He's brave, he's committed, and I think he has the best interests of America and Americans in mind. But he's a conservative, and because of that he's set the world up in an us-vs.-them paradigm that doesn't work and that has never worked. He's comfortable if circumstances fail people as long as his interpretation of the founders' intentions is kept intact. I was ready to vote for McCain over Gore in 2000--and then the Village Idiot won the Republican nomination. How did that happen? I don't know. I will never understand how Dubya got a single vote, let alone enough votes to make the Florida robbery plausible.

Hillary Clinton is not a bad woman. But her insistence on practicing negative politics and obfuscation make me want to strangle her. I believe she'd be a decent president, but I can't vote for her. The more I hear her speak the less I hear of her. It's like a focus group took possession of her head. There's no there there anymore.

I'm a Barack Obama guy. I read his book, Dreams From My Father, which struck me as a rare achievement: a candid memoir that was interesting and compelling, but one that lacked the self-importance it would seem necessary to bother writing a memoir. It's a great memoir. And I feel like Obama is a genuine man. Nothing he's said or done during his campaign has changed my opinion of him. This isn't just a candidate I wouldn't mind seeing in office--I actively want this man to be president. I've never been able to say that before. I've voted for Dukakis and Clinton, Gore and Kerry. In all of those cases I just thought they were lesser evils than G.H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and Dubya. Honestly--Dubya? Could there be a worse human being in charge of this country? I don't think so.

But I like Obama. He's intelligent and articulate. He seems thoughtful. Even when he takes on the cadences of MLK during his speeches, and I get a little uncomfortable with that, I feel as though he's still conveying valuable ideas, that he's committed to a humane platform.

As a side note: Keith Olbermann is my hero. Seriously. I liked him a lot when he co-hosted SportCenter with Dan Patrick in the mid-nineties, but he's infinitely more valuable now that he's brought his intelligence and outrage to nightly news--even if he's stuck on MSNBC, where nobody can see him. I like when my news people are intelligent and thoughtful.

So here's a question: Who are you voting for and why? If you're not voting, why not?

5 comments:

dchmielewski said...

I will vote for either Hill-bot or Obama, but I won't cry up a river about McCain winning the way that I did when Bush won in 2004. That had me depressed for days, and the last 4 years have shown me why. I watched 15 minutes of his news conference when I was home with Nick on Thursday last week (he pre-empted "Ellen" the bastard, she barely got done dancing before his ugly mug showed up). I am amazed every time he open his mouth at the crap that just keeps coming out. Unreal. The no rare enough combination of cluelessness and power. November can't come soon enough (except, I would really like to see summer, so I guess I am going to have to put up with it).

Nik said...

I am an Obama supporter all the way. I completely agree with you Jas - he's appears to be very intelligent, he's very well spoken, & he just seems earnest. Which a complete 180 from the current Monkey In Charge. I really REALLY want to like Hil-bot, a) because I would love to see what a woman could do as President, & b) the thought of Bill being the "official party host" of the US just fuckin' ROCKS. =) Cigars for everyone!

Hell, I wish I could vote for Bill again. Damn Constitution anyway.

Mike said...

I am torn really. McCain is an honorable man, however I have been a Democrat since I knew the difference between the parties. Obama is sharp, intelligent, and polished BUT there is something about him that doesn't sit right with me. Hilary seems like she could do the job..she is intelligent as well however something about her doesn't sit right with me either. Maybe it's the interview and interrogation training that I have been through over and over again. The thing is, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that the candidates are speaking in half truths...all of them McCain, Hilary, and Obama. I guess I am a cynic when it comes to trusting any of these folks.

Jason said...

Dave-
As much as I dislike Ellen, I'd be angry at that pre-emption, too. There's no reason for Dubya to speak anymore. He's the most powerful man in the world, and he still doesn't matter.

Nik-
I liked Bill as president, but I don't like him so much now. The way he's behaving during Hillary's campaign disturbs me.

Mike-
What about Obama doesn't strike you right? I keep hearing that, so there must be something to it, but I haven't been able to figure it out yet. I'm with you on the trust thing, though. It's sad that we have to examine everything they say--all of them.

Mike said...

I can't put my finger on it. Call it the force...call it a gut feel, something isn't right. I have been watching his interviews and the debates, he is holding something back. Course....Hilary and McCain have done the same thing. I dread this crap everytime another election period comes around...it is democracy and I get that and I am thankful we have the kind of system we do (however I think the electoral college system has become obsolete in my opinion) however everyone starts to sound the same after a while. It all ends up becoming a crap slinging fest.