Monday, November 5, 2007

Another Govt. Paper (And a Candidate that's Growing on Me)


That was the second weekend in a row with an AP U.S. Government essay. Thankfully this one was a free topic, which, of course, was an opportunity to let the crazy and twisting commentary on modern politics flow.

So what came of it?

Nothing more than my favorite topic for political discussion, "Is Barack Obama a sincere leader for change, or does his magnificent way with words hide his true (and less pure) character and intentions?"

Plato's The Republic offers many answers, but it is the quote below that starts to change the way I see the junior Senator:

?young men, after their first taste of argument, are always contradicting people just for the fun of it; they imitate those whom they hear cross-examining each other? (539b)

Obama, in his mid-forties, is still a relative newcomer to national politics, and might as well be the young man in Plato's situation. What currently impresses me about Obama is that, after entering the political spotlight as a spotless messiah of change and hope and subsequently appearing to sell himself out to fundraisers like Oprah Winfrey and stagnating with an increasingly banal and insubstantial campaign message this summer, Obama is back again. Even better, he's not playing the game of argument because everyone else is.

Plato would be proud.

The electricity of events like Obama's rally in Boston with Governor Deval Patrick aren't enough to sell me on any one candidate, rather it is Obama's ability to roll out bold and practical positions on issues like energy independence or to face the problem of Social Security head-on that reveals the kind of change he really wants for this country.

Is this an endorsement? Far from it, but Obama is moving in the right direction--he is refining his ability to put pressure on his opponents without abandoning the "politics of hope," and he's showing what it takes to successfully defend himself from the attacks of others.

Hillary Clinton may look like she is running away with the Democratic nomination for now, but Obama is gradually up-ticking in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Keeping up with Hillary is no easy task, but if there's a candidate out there to dethrone Clinton right now, it's Obama.

We'll see how far he goes.

(photo credit: 2007 by Luke N. Vargas. All Rights Reserved.)

No comments: