Friday, January 04, 2008

I Just Don't Know How To Feel

I jotted down some thoughts on last night and then erased them. Perhaps that discussion around the dinner table was all I needed, and it wouldn't translate into a blog post.

Obama is my horse, and I am happy to see that he won the first caucus. But my views on politics have changed over the last 8 years, and I wonder if a person of real virtue and compassion can make it all the way to the Emperor's Throne (as a friend put it). I watch the below video and say, "Yes!" I do want an end to this futile war of profit and swagger. Yes, we need change in the healthcare system. Yes, we do need to move into the categories, new hopes, new dreams.

But can a politician actually deliver (in any way) on these proposed things? This is not the same old "I distrust politicians" sentiment. This is me asking if a person can play clean, act honorably, and rise to the top of a system that rewards greed and violence. It's like asking if you can get rich off lending Kiva loans?


Anonymous said...

wow, i hear you mi hermano

here's what made my cynicsm run into its cave:
*****from his speech last night
In lines that stretched around schools and churches, in small towns and in big cities, you came together as Democrats, Republicans and independents, to stand up and say that we are one nation. We are one people. And our time for change has come.

You said the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that's consumed Washington.

To end the political strategy that's been all about division, and instead make it about addition. To build a coalition for change that stretches through red states and blue states.

Because that's how we'll win in November, and that's how we'll finally meet the challenges that we face as a nation.

We are choosing hope over fear.

We're choosing unity over division, and sending a powerful message that change is coming to America.

You said the time has come to tell the lobbyists who think their money and their influence speak louder than our voices that they don't own this government -- we do. And we are here to take it back.
WE-YOU - not me, the me that capsized clinton (then bush)

Hope is scary, dangerous, even foolish or impractical. I always respect that
When Pandora opened Pandora's Box, she let out all the evils except one: hope. Apparently, the Greeks considered hope to be as dangerous as all the world's evils. But without hope to accompany all their troubles, humanity was filled with despair. It was a great relief when Pandora revisited her box and let out hope as well. It may be worthy to note that in the story, hope is represented as weakly leaving the box but is in effect far more potent than any of the major evils.

It seems to me that hoping is OK, as long I can carry it and not expect someone else to do all the lifting.

Then again, he might be just a doofus...

Mike Croghan said...

Thanks, Ryan. Your thoughts do a good job of articulating my ambivalence over Obama, and national politics in general. Still, I think I'm with Bob. Might as well hope - but it ought to be a chastened, humble hope that recognizes the limits of what a politician can accomplish and the realities of the political jungle. So Obama's my horse too, but a horse is a horse, I guess. Of course, of course. (Sorry about that. Couldn't resist.)

brett said...

and in the end it will never be about what one person can do. our example is probably first with christ, and then wonderful contemporaries who show the way, ghandi and king. those three become cliches for movement unfortunately, but how they motivated PEOPLE (the forgotten constitutional receipients) changed their particular cultures and contexts, and then some.
i rejoice over obama's showing in iowa, and hope for a change, but he will be entering a system that is not designed for great revolution from the top.

denise said...

Hi Ryan,

I became an Obama supporter in 2004
feeling that bold inspiration and progressive opportunities were in critically short supply for ready-to-be-more-than-average Americans (excluding members of the military/military industry who, for a couple years anyway, enjoyed historic levels of support politically, financially, socially, technologically and medically).

But while "hope" may have been a good word to have in a book title, I've been somewhat wishing a different word could be linked to Obama's campaign. I went to one of Obama's SF events in September and enjoyed a hand-brush(too brief and outstretched to be a hand- shake). At that point I realized that support of his presidential race would be most satisfying and effective if I were (using another animal metaphor) to envision joining his dogsled team, with him as the lead dog and myself pulling some of the weight.

I've donated some money and am considering some local campaign work.....I don't have a blog so I'm glad to see you posting this video and discussing, candidly, Obama.