Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Changing of the Guard

Ok, so normally I refrain from political rantings but today I believe it is appropriate to diverge from my normal path. Its my time to talk about our new President. I know that for a select few he can be polarizing. There are those that disagree with his policy or his background. Those folks I can respect even as I disagree with them. Then there are the fringe few who insist on believing email chain letters about Muslim agendas and terroristic threats rather than learn the truth. Those folks I can’t help.

Apart from the above-mentioned few, I can’t help but believe that Barack Obama may be the closest thing we’ve had to a “people’s president” in a long time. I say that for many reasons.

First, oftentimes we see presidents elected by regions. Either we get someone “bi-coastal” (i.e. they get the northeast and California plus a few other states but leave behind a good part of the in-between), or we get the “hometown” presidents who get the heartland and a some others pulled in but alienate the coastal states. In Obama’s case he got it all. While he did capture both coasts, he also got Florida. And Iowa. And Virginia. And Ohio. And Nevada. And New Mexico. Basically Obama captured states from every region in this great nation. He cannot be said to have alienated the South, the Northwest, the Midwest or the Southwest.

Second, as one pundit pointed out, Obama seems to be a bit of a people’s mirror. By that I mean that people see in him what they want to see. He is black, but he is equally white. He is wealthy but has come from little. He lives in one of our largest cities but has been a small town kid. He is educated but talks to his kids about puppies in front of an entire country. He attracts movie stars and small town teens. He invigorates an entire arena or a small dinner party.

The hard part now is living up to his duplicity. Can he continue to be all things to all people once he stops talking about policy and begins making it? Will he continue to inspire all walks of life when he is making decisions that they may not agree with? Will he be able to live the Lincoln line of not pleasing all of the people all of the time and yet still being respected and revered? Will his polish fade and tarnish under the pressure of a difficult war?

All these things remain to be seen in the next four years, but for one girl from the Midwest, the future looks more hopeful than she’s seen it in quite sometime - as I believe it does for many, many others.

1 comment:

godsnowhere said...

Well stated Ms. Holzer. I'm cautiously optimistic about President-elect Obama's leadership. I hope that the people who consider him to be the second coming of Jesus will calm down a little...and the people who think their new president is an Islamic terrorist who eats babies for breakfast will relax a little, too. If nothing else, Obama has inspired me to believe in my ability to impact the world around me...something I haven't felt prior to this year.