I like this guy. I do. I feel like he gets it. When I'd watch him debate McCain I felt like I was in his corner, that he was speaking my language, and that his smirk at the old guy's approach was my smirk too.
I think some good things are going to happen. I am interested to see where his dialogical approach gets the US in its relations with foreign nations.
But its awfully disappointing when one day he is closing a prison camp and promising no more torture and the next he is lifting a ban on foreign relief agencies that condone abortion. On the one hand, protecting the rights of the possibly innocent, or at least being humane to the guilty. On the other hand, sidelining the rights of the really innocent, and being inhumane to the unborn. All for a woman's health? Since when is an abortion safer than a birth? But that's another discussion, I suppose. I hope he does some other things to limit abortion, like he seems to have suggested he might.
Mostly I do like this guy. I was moved, like most people, to see Jesse Jackson weeping at Obama's election. I mean, the guy was in the hotel room when MLK was shot, only 40 years ago! Where this country has come, and where it could go, it is hopeful and exciting in many respects.
But a reality check is in order too. I loved on Jon Stewart where he recited an Obama quote from the inauguration in a George-Bush voice. Some things will stay the same. I also laughed when I heard a political commentator say that it will be "refreshing to have someone govern by principles rather than expediency."
Are you kidding? The whole problem people had with Bush was that his values! Let's not pretend he had no values or principles himself. The real debate is which values. Which principles the nation ought to go forward on. For my part I think I like a lot of Obama's principles (I can't pretend I know a lot about him). But I don't like them all. Or at least I don't like what happens to some of them when push comes to shove with other principles.
So there is hope, yes, but also some concern. Concern over this abortion thing, for sure. But I have to say, also concern over the people of my own faith who are likely to caricature and even demonize the guy rather than argue with/support him principle-by-principle on a case-by-case basis. (I hope they prove me wrong).
I hope he does some good. I am intrigued and I must admit I hold out some hope. But even if this guy did every single thing right he would not be the Messiah. He will not save the world. In fact, I'm afraid that even some of his best intentions will go unrealized. Not trying to be a downer, but I feel like a more realistic outlook is needed in order for the people to really follow through on the goals that the trend-setters set before them. Environmental clean-up, foreign peace, and so on . . . these won't happen overnight, they won't come without their losses, and they won't be accomplished without some new problems arising.
So let's spare this guy the Messiah complex and see what he can do in real-time. And if you are American, write him a letter on this abortion thing, but don't oppose him to the wall. He's going to do some good things---Christ-like things even---and should be encouraged in that regard.