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Book of Matthew: Why I support Obama

Published: March 21, 2008
Section: Opinions


the_hoot_3-21-08final_page_03_image_0001.jpgI’ve read numerous articles endorsing presidential candidates, so I figured I should have a turn. When Massachusetts held its primary on Super Tuesday, I voted for Barack Obama. At the time, part of me was unsure if I had made the right decision, but after following the election closely, I know that I have.

Senator Obama has been dismissed many times throughout this campaign. He has been called too inexperienced, too liberal, and too idealistic. And yet that has not stopped him from launching one of the largest grassroots campaigns in history. It has not stopped him from inspiring voters young and old alike through his “rock star” persona. And it has certainly not stopped him from winning primaries and caucuses.

But I am not the kind of person who will burst into tears or faint after hearing Obama speak. The energy that always seems to resonate from the man doesn’t usually have much of an effect on me. I prefer to think about what he says (the whole speech, not the pointless sound bites that the media forces down our throats). To be honest, I don’t understand where the Obama’s opponents get this idea that his speeches are empty words, while theirs are legitimate promises. Aren’t all political promises, by their very nature, meant to be taken with a grain of salt?

And of course, there is the experience issue. I’m sure John McCain and Hillary Clinton would like us all to believe that experience counts for everything, but I think its fair to say that history has proved them wrong. Some of our great presidents and some of our terrible presidents entered office with a lot of experience, and some did not. In the end, the two most important qualities a president can have are honesty and vision.

Senator Obama certainly has vision. Not only does he stand for little things like “hope” and “change,” he actually supports specific, liberal Democrat ideals that are desperately needed after eight years of Bush’s “leadership.” We need a better system of healthcare. We need to end the war in Iraq and stop wasting billions upon billions of dollars. We need to improve our standing in the world, so Americans will once again be respected. We can do this with President Obama.

But even this does not make Obama stand out. Any candidate can make promises, but can they keep them? I believe Obama can. Out of all of his qualities, I believe honesty is his strongest, and most important to America.

Many of you have seen, heard, or read Barack Obama’s latest speech, regarding Rev. Wright. It is a remarkable speech, made even more so by the fact that he wrote the entire thing by himself. How many politicians these days do that? Not many. It is also remarkable because of how he discusses the situation. The politically safe thing for Obama was to distance himself from Rev. Wright as much as possible. But he did not do so. He rightly denounced the comments that the Rev. made, but at the same time, he told his audience that he could not disown the man who had introduced him to Christianity, presided over his wedding, and baptized his children.

It was this moment in this speech that convinced me that if there is one straight-talker in this election, it is Obama. Senator McCain has already tried to brainwash Americans into thinking the war is going well, and Senator Clinton has made more hypocritical remarks than I can count. But Senator Obama, he is real.

So I guess I’ll admit it. I’ve been inspired. I’ve been inspired by a politician who, after all the attacks, is still going strong with a message that we can all believe in. Its time for us to let go of our cynicism and realize that we can fix our broken government, and we can change America for the better. I believe. Do you?