So, I decided I like Obama.
And now, probably the only blog entry I will ever write about politics …
Unlike many other twenty-somethings who populate Southern California, I haven’t made up my mind about who I’m going to cast my ballot for come November. As I read the news, I am suspicious as to exactly why people are want to put so much hope in Obama, and find myself not as repelled by McCain as I would imagine I’d be—his brand of conservatism does not smack of as much Washington lobbyist, corporate glad-handling as there’s been in the Bush administration (could things GET anyway worse?). So, that’s left me kind of in the middle of the road as far as the election is concerned.
That was until last Sunday’s civil forum at Saddleback church in Orange County. Admittedly, I felt the whole event turned into a bit of a McCain rally, perhaps a given, considering the part of the country in which it was held, but all that aside, the forum was a good chance to hear what each candidate had to say about various issues. Surprisingly, Obama and McCain both had similar answers to many of the questions, but it was their respective answers to one question in particular that resonated most with me and has caused my attentions to go more toward the left.
At one point, Rick Warren asked about the problem of evil: does it exist and what should we, as a country do about it? Ignore it, acknowledge it, confront it, or eradicate it? (I think those were the options)
McCain gave what I thought was a pretty pat and tired answer. He said that we should eradicate evil, absolutely, and then he went on to say several more sentences that contained words like Iraq and Al-Qaeda, at which point I started to tune him out because, yes indeed Iraq really has a lot to do with Al-Qaeda and really had those weapons of mass destruction that were intended to be used by those ‘evil-doers’ to bring down vile democratic and capitalist nations … (please note the intended sarcasm) … okay I thought then, maybe McCain is more like Bush than I first thought.
Maybe his answer wouldn’t have bothered me as much if I had not already heard Obama’s answer. He said that we could only confront evil, that God ultimately was the only one who could eradicate evil, and that evil exists not simply outside our borders, but inside too—evil all over the place. And then he went on to say a word that I’ve never heard any politician use ever. He said that when we as a country choose how to go about confronting evil in other parts of the world, that we should do so with a measure of humility. Humility, yeah, seriously, he said the word humility, and as far as I could tell he meant it sincerely. My jaw almost fell off my face when he said that. I had to run the Tivo backwards just to hear it again. Humility.
If I had been forced to cast my ballot at that moment there wouldn’t have been a moment’s hesitation. Granted, I know that this was but one forum, one instance of hearing each candidate’s viewpoint, and I know that oftentimes things are said for the sake of garnering votes that a candidate has no intention of keeping. But I truly do hope if Obama is elected that he be a man of his word. I mean, can you imagine a president who leads the country with a measure of humility? Do we even know what that looks like?
So now I understand a little better why people might like Obama so much, ’cause I do, too.