I didn't start out with him. I thought people were projecting wildly onto him, making positive assumptions that he hadn't earned and filling in empty spaces in his resume with mere hopes of substance. But the longer campaign season has worked for me; having watched the candidates move through time, I've seen who's grown and who hasn't. I've ended up -- at least for now -- with Obama.
I'm perplexed by the question often presented by his opponents, "Yeah, but how is he really going to change things?" To me, he already has. He has awakened the sleeping giant of American democracy, and that is the greatest antidote to every problem we face.
Then there's the "Yeah, but it's all just pretty words" argument. Oh please. Kind of like, "Of the people, by the people, and for the people," "We have nothing to fear but fear itself," "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country" and "I have a dream"? Are we supposed to think that words never actually changed the world? For me personally, he had me at "Yes, We Can."
Of course, there's the notion that someone else might know what to do from Day One, given how much experience she's already had in Washington. But for me, one of the things I like about Obama is that he hasn't had more experience in Washington. I think he's had just enough to know what he's doing, but not so much that his consciousness has been completely permeated by the rules of that game. When I think of the American government, I'm reminded of a line oft said in Alcoholics Anonymous, "Your best thinking got you here." I support Obama not because of his position on specific issues; I support him because of his worldview.
Quoting Einstein: "We will not solve the problems of the world from the level of thinking we were at when we created them." Obama is a dreamer and I say Good for him. Only Bobby Kennedy's mythic idealist - who "dreams of what hasn't been and asks 'why not?'" -- will have the power to lead with a new state of consciousness. And nothing short of a new state of consciousness will create a new state of the world.
Obama is a risk -- as is any new president, actually -- because we don't really know where he would lead us. But his main opponent, in my mind, is a greater risk -- because we do. She has clarity and brilliance about a world that is, but he has visions and intimations of a world that could be. He's the natural heir to Bobby Kennedy's mantle of a pioneer who seeks a newer world. There's a wagon train behind him, and -- at least for now -- I'm on it. Because I'm a dreamer too....