Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why I like Barack Obama, Part II

Everything from Part I, which I posted here four years ago(!) still applies. But there's something I wanted to add.

I'm happy that both candidates this year represent a significant improvement over the incumbent. But I'm even happier that one of them is a deeply thoughtful, introspective man. I think it's amazing that this such a man is also the most charismatic candidate in a generation.

I don't agree with Obama on everything. For instance, he favors removing restrictions on abortion. I do not. He favors policies which flirt with protectionism. I think that's a losing battle and hard on the very poor in other nations. I believe the death penalty should be abolished. He believes the system can be fixed. He believes we're going to need to rely more on nuclear power. I'm divided on the issue. I believe it is safe, but we don't really have a solution for disposing of the waste. There's not much of it now, but it's not going away either, and if we rely on it too heavily, it will continue accumulating until it's a problem for our great-grandchildren the way global warming is a problem for us.

But here's the thing. I believe Obama has thought very hard about every one of these issues, and is aware of the other side of the argument in each case. I believe he sees these as complex problems. I believe this because I have seen him reason his way to a conclusion in a debate or a speech (with numbered arguments, no less), and because I have read his first book, which is full of searching and self doubt.

More than I want someone who agrees with me, I want someone who thinks about problems and struggles with them and sees them from all sides.

And that is what I see in Obama. Someone who is not afraid to consider the possibility that he might be wrong. Someone who who would govern with his head, not his gut. I am content to let others make my policy decisions for me, as I must be under a representative government, but I want to know that those people have thought about the decisions they are making more than I have, not less.

And that's what I see in Barack Obama.

1 comment:

Simon said...

To your list of good things he's said (in Part 1), I should like to add this:

The point is an important one, but even more important is that he makes it, and explains that there are comprimises and tradeoffs to be made, even when it comes to "national security".

Just in case you're not aware of it: http://www.iftheworldcouldvote.com
(albeit this is a somewhat poor sample, surveying one bit of the internet-using world)