succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Could Barak Obama be my Jed Bartlet?

It's too early to tell, but today's rally was pretty damn effective. Obama spoke of the need for preventive care, so children could get asthma medications instead of turning up in the ER in the middle of a life-threatening attack. The need for universal healthcare to cover things like insulin, so diabetics wouldn't need amputations, and mothers wouldn't have to pay out of pocket to stay in the hospital more than one day after giving birth because of a $10,000 deductible. He suggested charging companies for the pollution they produce, so they would have a vested interest in new technologies to reduce pollution, creating new markets and new jobs. He spoke of the need for a real energy policy, not just for the sake of the environment, but also so we can stop "funding both sides of the war on terror" by importing so much oil. He said there is no military solution to the current situation in Iraq, and we don't need a troop surge, we need a surge of diplomacy! He reminisced about civil rights anniversaries, and returning to the capitol where people patted him on the back and said that was a nice celebration of African American history. No, he reminded them, that's American history.

He said a lot of sappy, cliched things about working together and hoping for a better country. But he also made me think that maybe I'm too young to be that cynical. I haven't made up my mind, I need to do the requisite digging and researching into voting records because actions speak louder than words. But maybe I'm too young to be so pragmatic. Maybe I don't need to be a work-from-within the system person all the time. Maybe I could be moved by a candidate, instead of just coldly calculating which one I think has the best odds of winning.

Because I'm tired of it: year after year after year after year having to choose between the lesser of who cares. Of trying to get myself excited about a candidate who can speak in complete sentences. Of setting the bar so low, I can hardly bear to look at it. They say a good man can't get elected President. I don't believe that. Do you?"

It would be damn fine to believe that there are still people out there who get involved in politics out of a sense of service, of civic duty. It would be even better to believe such a person could be elected president.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"People don't choose careers, they're engulfed by them."
Kent Glenzer, CARE USA

Here's hoping that next week's conference makes me feel more like that than...well, the alternative.

Sorry life has been stomping on my blogging spirit. I swear there are lots of things bumping around in my head - I recently attended really interesting talks on the Jimmy Carter book controversy and Cuban healthcare...updates...someday.