There are about five different people in my life right now who have taken it upon themselves to make me feel guilty for not being enthusiastic about supporting Barack Obama. Though they’ve all used different (but direct) tactics, their message is the same: if you don’t support him, it’s because you’re a bitter, cynical person both beyond and against hope.
That’s it, that’s their whole reasoning. One friend describes Obama over and over again as “inspiring.” Another, as the prime choice for liberals — which is how I would define myself, sure. Not once has someone forwarded me a video or article or excerpt of his policies. Instead, I am expected, at every turn, to take the man on faith, to be impressed by his “presence,” his ability to lead a crowd in chanting, his smile (yeah, it’s nice), his spunky wife, his amazing life story, his “positive” campaign, or his energy.
If I were impressed by a man’s ability to command a crowd’s attention, I would have voted for George W. Bush in 2004.
I’m tired of people being mad at me because I just “don’t get” Obama. I’ve said I’ll support him and will probably vote for him in the primaries. The points that I don’t like about him I’ve seen sanded down or I’ve read or watched — through my own searching — information that makes him more attractive to me. (By the way: this is harder than with any other candidate, I think: last week I watched CNN for four hours one morning, and they showed clips of Hillary Clinton talking about health care at least four times; when they showed Obama, he was saying things like, “Yes we can defeat the climate of negativity.” Is anyone pro-negativity?) Hearing him rally campaign workers or make babies laugh is never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to convince me to vote for him.