It’s strange to find myself immersed in a system that is corrupt and inefficient. No, I’m not talking about the Church (this time) – I’m talking about politics. I’ve realized that I’ve been sucked in to the vortex of a perfect storm of candidate and circumstance. The candidate – Sen. Barack Obama. The circumstance – a bleak immediate future for our country. I’d be lying if I said that the economy, environment, and our standing among other nations of the world didn’t keep me awake several nights each week. I’m not so niave as to think that Mr. Obama would be able to wave his magic wand and make all the bad things go away – but, for some reason, who he is and what he represents gives me hope for my children’s future.
I’m still crafting my major reasons for why I’m planning to vote for Barack Obama in a couple of months. In the meantime, I’d like to offer a few thoughts on voting criteria. As I’ve engaged a variety of people in political discussions over the past few months, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated at how low we set the bar or our Commander in Chief. Comments like, “I don’t like McCain because he seems too rigid” and “I like Obama because he’s black” and “Biden’s teeth bug me” are absolutely obsurd…and yet these are just a few of the rationale given for why people will vote (or not vote) for a certain candidate.
Then comes this little bit of political insight regarding Sen. McCain’s selection of Arkansas Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential nominee:
…rural and working class males…will be at least interested in someone who actually fishes and hunts and has worked for a living (and is married to someone who works for a living) and who probably has never eaten arugula in her life.
I hope that most “rural and working class males” are offended at the notion that we will vote for someone because their Veep candidate hunts, fishes, and hasn’t eaten arugula. How shallow are we? I suppose we’ll also support her because she used to be a beauty queen and had a brief stint as a local sportscaster. By all accounts, Ms. Palin is a person of conviction and strong ethics. I think her nomination is a breath of fresh air for a party that needs a little ingenuity. I just hope that, as with the entire election, that the American people engage their brains and come up with voting criteria that is more well-constructed than “they have the same hobbies I do”.