I was never this political in my life. I blame George W. Bush.
When I was a kid, we had a mock election between Ford and Carter. I picked Ford because I didn’t want change. As it turned out, I was the only one who picked Ford and was then called out to justify my vote. It was at that point I decided not to be much of a political junkie.
The Reagan revolution is remembered by me through a fine gauze of Don Henley lyrics, The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel, John Hinkley and “Tear down that wall!” Bush Sr. was a blip on my collective radar (picked a doofus as VP, he threw up, first gulf war). The party politics didn’t really impact me directly.
Clinton to my mind was the cool President. He played sax on the Arsenio Hall show and could deliver a speech that moved people. His ability to connect was incredible. I thought the personal attacks on him and Hillary by Republicans were not worthy of the amount of money being spent.
I thought Gore was a bore and so did millions of Americans. My opinion of Bush was that he was a lightweight, but was smart enough to surround himself with people much smarter than him. What I didn’t perceive was the neo-conservative movement behind the scenes which essentially turned him into a puppet.
Leading Democrats since Clinton were framed by the neo-conservative movement as anti-American pussies. Gore and Kerry did little to change that perception. However, in October of 2005 I saw someone who I knew was going to be President someday: Barack Obama. I didn’t think he was going to be this close to the Presidency during the 2008 elections, but I knew his time was going to come.
The President of the United States really didn’t become someone I truly cared about until George W. Bush. It took, arguably, the worst President in history to get me to care about politics.
I feel he, not single-handedly mind you, created or exacerbated everything that is currently wrong today. Our economy. The war in Iraq. 9/11. The Federal response to Katrina. Gas prices. Torture. The emergence of China and Russia. The resurgence of global terrorism. By the way, don’t try and throw out Clinton as a reason for some of these things. Bush has been in office for two terms. All of these things were mishandled under his watch. I blame him and the neo-conservatives that pulled his strings.
I’m not the only one, which is why the political slogan of “Change” works so well.
I want an America that leads internationally by example, not through military might. The American Presidency has been called the leader of the free world. If the world could vote, Obama wins 4 to 1.
I want an America that lives in the realities of the 21st century, not the outdated modality of the 20th century. I want a leader with progressive policies and progressive thinking.
I want an America that rises from the discredited and failed domestic and international policies of the Reagan-Goldwater era. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work.
I want an America where the Presidency isn’t seen as an elected dictatorship.
I want an America where a young, vibrant and inspiring leader is at the helm.
I want an America with Barack Obama as President.
Hey, I might actually get it. Mostly because of things like this…