Guys, I can’t help it. I love Barack Obama. I mean, how is this guy doing it? Part of me says, “All politicians are the same. The only thing special about Obama is that he’s an incredibly moving speaker.” But then I go, “No, really. What he says makes sense, and from what I can see, it’s not just talk. He seems to actually run his campaign according to the principals he preaches unlike so many candidates who make a big show about being a “regular guy” and “someone you want to have a beer with” then turn back to lobbyists and big businesses when it really matters. Although GW Bush looked like someone we’d all love to have a beer with (and honestly, I still would because I bet the man can talk some good trash after a couple cold ones) it seems clear to me that when it came time to make certain decsisions, it wasn’t his pals down at the local dive bar that mattered most but his other pals — the ones at the board tables.
I think we’ve become so extremely jaded about politics that we don’t believe a political leader is actually capable of standing by their principals. We view Washington as the kind of place where, no matter how good your parents were, whatever morals you learned growing up are out the door as soon as you step into office. I realize Washington has a culture of its own and a whole different set of pressures that most of us don’t experience day-to-day, but are the pressures so much that good, smart people with character and strong backgrounds can be excused for becoming scoundrels when they get there? That seems a bit … ridiculous. Doesn’t it?
My fear when Obama was gaining his lead in the primary was that it’d be a story like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington — smart, well-meaning guy goes to Washington and finds out he can’t accomplish anything if he doesn’t cooperate with the evil scum that’s already there. But I’m starting to believe, judging by the way Obama has stood by his principals and the success he’s had by basing his campaign around those principals, that this guy might actually be for real. Maybe we will learn that it’s possible for someone in power to be a basically honest, ethical person. God, that would be such an amazing thing for this country. Because really, we all hate the war, and we all feel jaded about it. We all got manipulated into letting the war happen, and now we’re all stuck on the sidelines while people we don’t trust are making our decisions for us. If we had a president we could trust, that would change the whole game so much.
I think that’s what it comes down to for me. Not whether I’d have a beer with the guy — I’d have a beer with almost anyone — but whether you trust him. If he were trying to sell you a used car, would you buy it? If he were doing your taxes, would be worried about the IRS knocking on your door? I’m getting the impression that Barack Obama is trustworthy.