Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Barack Obama, Charlie Brown! The Obama Infomercial

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

I absolutely loved it. I don't mind telling you that I cried.

I had intended to try and watch this through the eyes of a skeptic, someone who has decided that Obama is the anti-christ, that he is Hitler, that he is a Muslim terrorist who plans to destroy the country. Through the eyes of someone who believes he is, in short, a liar. It was like trying to go back to the way I felt in the primary, when I wanted Hillary to be President so much. I looked at this commercial objectively and tried to really see where someone might say, "That doesn't make sense" or "That's a bad idea." I thought I would get some insight into the people I'm trying to understand.

I couldn't actually manage it. I was only able to maintain my fake disdain for a minute. Seeing him in that wood paneled office, looking so Presidential, was just such a relief. The idea of a smart, capable man in the White House, a sensible, thoughtful man at the helm filled me with energy and hope. The rest of the commercial brought it home. For me, there were no sour notes. He was direct, clear, and specific. No one could say they don't know what he plans to do. No would could say, now, that they don't know what he's thinking. The only response to that commercial that would make a person decide to vote against the man is "He's just lying."

The response, "He's lying" leads directly to "Well, McCain lies too," and from there it's a short step to "They're all liars" and then we get "What the hell" and finally "Does it really matter what I think anyway?" This conclusion is the antithesis of Obama's message. We are the change we need. He wants us to change the world, not him.

Unless, of course, he's lying. Which is, I suppose, a valid response. Maybe the smart person in me demands that I reserve some percentage of my confidence for saying "If he's not lying..." If he's not lying, he's a good man who wants to help. If he's not lying, he's a smart man with a clear plan. If he's not lying, I can depend on his values and his intentions, on his quick brains and his wise team, I can relax and stop worrying.

This time around, I have decided on purpose to suspend my disbelief. I decided it on the night of the acceptance speech. I remember it very well, it was like a bag of sand running out of my legs through my feet. I gave myself permission to just believe this person's words, without constantly qualifying, second-guessing, hedging, reminding myself of what shitbags those politicians always are, and how impossible it is for a man in Obama's position to actually live out his convictions and values. I just don't care about that right now, it seems like. Maybe it's because I am stupid and naive -- I have been accused of that. Or maybe it's because I have been down the road of "He's lying" all the way through "what the hell" and on the other side of "It doesn't matter" is "I might as well believe him."

So I just can't be objective. And I think that's alright.

I hope that some undecided voters watched tonight's infomercial (the above clip is one third of it, I think) with an open mind, and I hope that some of them were able to relax and say, "Okay, I'll let go of my suspicion and run with this guy." In some ways, it's more familiar and almost more comfortable to choose the route of fear and doubt and worry. Definitely cooler to say "Oh, the bastards, they all lie, there's no good choice!" Many times the brave choice also looks like the stupid choice, am I right? But I don't need any more doubt in my life. I don't need any more studied cool, any more scorn and cynical disdain. I do need energy, strength, faith, and relief.

I only have my one little vote. I'm going to give it to Obama. Not because he's the lesser of two evils, but because I truly believe he is the best man for the job. It isn't going to be a hesitant, fearful little vote. It's going to be a vote with confidence, a firm, bold vote. A vote I will not regret.


  1. Hi Lydia,

    I've been following your posts on the political scene and wanted to comment here to maybe express another point of view. I support neither mainstream candidate, as you only needs to see my van! :) Anyway, I don't believe it's as black and white as it seems.

    It's often difficult to express ones views on the politicians if they don't understand their perspectives outside of a gut response about someone or has only ever voted the party line of choice.

    Having never voted party line for any election, I look at the persons policies. I got a very good education this primary season and can say that in the past, I was less than educated as to what the politicians were dishing out. Having said that, my issues with both candidates stems from my understanding of both the constitution, financial policy and foreign policy.

    I don't feel either of them understand economics or have have advisers that do. More of the same mentality leads to more of the same outcome. You can't solve a problem from the same mindset that created the problem.

    Having said that, I watched the Obamercial last night. I was not swayed to vote for Obama, he just doesn't fit my beliefs. I watched it to get an idea of the man and get a glimpse into what we're in for. I believe it's inevitable that he will be the next president and I give him great kudos for that whether I agree with him or not. At least I don't have the same responses to him that I have to Bush or McCain!

    I read recently that barring anything else, vote for the person you're willing to pray for (as opposed to praying for their time to end!) I don't get the gut feeling from him that he feels he's beyond reproach or that no rules apply to him. That's a major change in and of itself for this country. :)

    So, in a long-winded, rambling, round-about sort of way, I'm saying it is what it is and even though I will not be voting for him, I will wait and see what he actually does bring to the table vs what he's promising to do that he's not able to without the support of the rest of congress.

    In any case...I can't wait for this campaign season to be over! :)


  2. I respect your open mind and your ability to put emotion aside and look at the people and the policies. I don't agree with everything Obama has to offer either, necessarily, but I can wholeheartedly say that I want him to win.

    Are you voting for Bob Barr? I have completely enjoyed him every time I have seen him interviewed. He is *very* smart and also funny, which I appreciate. I think McCain is pretty funny too though! The only one I don't find funny is Palin. Her humor makes my skin crawl.

    But Bob Barr is okay by me. :)

  3. Short answer is...I don't know. I'm still reviewing the 3rd party candidates. I was going to write in my preference, but that truly would be an uncounted vote. As much as I would rather do that on principle alone, I would like to incorporate that same ideal and have it count! This 3rd party stuff is tricky business! That in itself is a sad state of affairs in this supposed 'democratic' republic of ours!

    But integrity moves me to vote my conscience.