OMG, WTF. Me, with an interest in politics? Even more OMGWTF - me, taking a Democrat seriously?
There's been an awful lot of noise about Obama's speech at the DNC last night.
Barack Obama. I'd never heard of him before today. He's a Democrat from Chicago, currently serving as a Senator for the state of Illinois, representing the 13th district on the south side of Chicago. He's running for Illinois Senator in the US Congress. He is a senior lecturer specializing in constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. Bio and stuff at his website.
He's also the Next Big Thing, if you believe the buzz. People are saying he will be the first black president, which would be cool just on its own merits. Apparently last night he delivered one heck of a speech. Video here if you're interested, and I suggest you check it out. It's about 17 minutes long. Very compelling, even to me, a proclaimed politics-hater.
This guy's got me thinking. Or maybe it's the DNC, even though I haven't paid much attention. Or maybe it's the upcoming presidential election. Or maybe it's my utter disappointment and embarrassment over having blindly supported Dubya in my mind, even if I didn't vote. Something's got me thinking.
I really want to believe what this guy is saying, but it's hard. Last time I was dumb enough to like a politician's public persona while they were running for office, it was Clinton in 1992. I would have voted for him had I been old enough, and I would have been wrong to do so. Look what a fscking embarrassment he turned out to be.
Not that Dubya hasn't risen to that level. I think maybe Clinton's fiasco, as disgusted as I am with it, was not as bad as Dubya's has been. Clinton embarrassed himself; Dubya has embarrased the whole country and damaged our international reputation. Better to screw up something personally than something that involves the lives of the people you are supposed to be leading. And I was in full support of Dubya too for quite a while. I mean, Hussein needed to go, but to say "screw you" to the entire international community and go barging in anyway might not have been such a great idea, especially on what turned out to be wrong evidence.
In 1994 I worked for the County Election Commissioner's office. I was very interested in politics and the job was boring and tedious and thoughtless enough (data entry and filing, mostly) that I had nothing to do but listen to talk radio all day. As you know, talk radio is mostly conservative in nature, and my soft little mind was easily molded into being a staunch Republican, because a lot of what they said made good logical sense to me. (Still does.) That also made it easy for me to dismiss Clinton's fiasco: "Well, what do you expect, he's a dipsh!t liberal."
Then I voted party line Republican in '94 and for Bush in 2000. (I skipped the '96 election for some reason.) Now that Bush has royally screwed up, I can no longer blame it on a particular party, and I'm forced (at least the way I see it) to put it on politicians as a whole. I'm also forced to admit I voted for this guy, which is only mitigated by the fact that my only alternative was Gore.
For as long as I've been old enough to comprehend what's going on and have an interest in politics, presidents have been smarmy and charming and lovable up front, and then they get into office and FSCK everything up with their ego trips and corruption and stupid decisions. No wonder I'm disillusioned about politics.
But Obama's speech actually stirred up a little feeling in my chest. I'm leery because this is the DNC, it's highly publicized, so of course the speeches are going to be full of rhetoric, warm fuzzies, and a general lack of detail (that part is probably appropriate at this stage). I'm skeptical because of course the stuff they're saying out loud in front of cameras at this stage of the game is stuff I want to hear. But he's a democrat, he's supporting Kerry, obviously, and I'm giving consideration to what's being said. That is significant for me.
I'm certainly not going to vote for Bush, and until today I'd thought for certain I'd be voting Independent. I'm still leaning heavily that way, but voting for Kerry isn't out of the question at this point. I'm just afraid to vote for anyone who might actually have a shot at winning because if they get into office and act like a complete assh0le, I'm left feeling somewhat responsible, or at least like I supported this thing. And of course, given the past 12 years or so, in my mind it's inevitable for the president to at some point turn into an assh0le. At least if I vote for an independent I can say I gave the system the finger.
But you know what? The Democrats have some decent ideas. I'd pay higher taxes for socialized health care if it were carried out efficiently. I'm fscking sick of not being able to afford even my co-pays for prescriptions. I'm fscking pissed off that the pharmaceutical companies make so much goddamn money off their drugs, but I can't even afford them with insurance. And you know who's all gung-ho for big companies? Here's a hint: It's not the Democrats.
(It appears I've just discovered a political issue that is a hot button for me that I didn't know about before. Interesting.)
Yeah, this whole thing is very interesting. To me the most interesting thing is observing my own opinions changing, my own reactions to things, my completely unanticipated bit of interest in politics at this point. Highly unexpected.
Stay tuned, I suppose.