Saturday, March 08, 2008

In Defense Of Words

I’ve been watching this presidential election with a lot of interest. This is mainly because, like a lot of other people my age and younger, I finally feel like I’ve found someone in Senator Obama who makes me feel good when I think about voting. I’ve hesitated to really trumpet my political views before now, but something is really beginning to piss me off and I want to write about it.

Senator Clinton has made it a point to attack Obama with the argument that what he offers is words rather than solutions (which ostensibly she offers). She says that his words are what his entire campaign is built upon, that hope is merely an empty promise, and that his message of unification is merely that, a message that will remain only a message.

I understand that Clinton has been in the Senate four years longer than Obama. I understand that she has had the experience of putting forth a health care plan to the nation. I understand that she has visited 80 countries. I’ve visited 11 myself. Very exciting.

I take issue with the implication that words somehow don't matter. Words are terribly important in my mind. Some words that I think are particularly important at the moment are: diplomacy, imperialism, scare tactics, and yes, unification.

I believe that words are an indication of how someone thinks about the world. Senator Clinton talks about the country as if it is a challenge for her to solve, a proving ground for her to live up to her potential. Senator Obama talks about the country as if it is a wonder, an amazing gem with the potential to be so much more than it is. Which one sounds better to you?

I respect what Senator Clinton has done, and I have no doubt about her intentions. But being the First Lady counts little towards foreign policy experience. I love her husband, but they both have shown a scary ambition that often eclipses their good intentions.

How one speaks about the world, about the things he loves, is in my mind the clearest indication of what kind of leader he is. And from what I have seen of these two candidates, Senator Obama has an ability to lead the country that has less to do with experience than it has to do with optimism and energy. And I think that’s what we desperately need right now.

It makes me sad to see the kinds of statements that Senator Clinton has made about her opponents in this race. I put a lot more stock in how she has conducted herself than the fact that she lived in the White House for eight years. I just hope that enough people see it that way as well.


Anonymous Brad said...

I have some words for Senator Clinton.

She can shampoo my taint.

And I feel I have the experience to back that up.

2:26 AM  

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