Today, as on many other days like it, a very close friend was barating me for what I’m sure he sees as my blind faith in a candidate who is considered to be largely unproven.This very good friend, who is a staunch Democrat, considers that Hillary Clinton is the “safe choice” in an age when strength of leadership and extensive experience is needed more than ever. To him, Hillary represents political strength.
I launched into my normal littany of reasons for my support of Barack Obama, none of which of course had anything to do with, “he’s been around for decades”, or, “he has a wealth of foreign policy experience”, or “he brings the 2-for-1 factor”. None of these things are true of Barack Obama, and I have to say, I don’t think it makes one bit of difference.
I’ve said it before, and I stick to it – what we need now is change, not more of the same. We’ve tried the same. When the Clintons were in office, we couldn’t get past the scandal long enough to deal with any of the real issues plaguing our nation, one of which was a growing terrorist threat. Then we got yet another George Bush in office, and now we find ourselves in an unwinnable war, with dozens of our nations young men and women dying each month, and we can’t get out easily, and we don’t even know why we’re there in the first place. Some say we’re in Iraq now because of bad intelligence about WMD; some say it’s our eagerness to show our “military might”, but I say it doesn’t matter. The scary fact of the matter is, the world is beginning to think we’ve lost our collective minds. Don’t believe me? Ask Tony Blair.
Don’t get me wrong on this – unlike the over-zealous Right, I don’t believe that the Clinton Administration is to blame for 9/11; quite the contrary. If the political Right in this country had not been so hell bent on seeing Bill Clinton impeached during his last years in office, the entire country’s attention might have been on dealing with the threats that were looming, and obviously showing themselves in the form of bombings at our foreign embassies and attacks on our other interests abroad. Nor do I blame George Bush alone for his mis-steps in getting us into the war in Iraq. I am one of the few who believes that George Bush actually believes his own hype. Nonetheless, It doesn’t make it any less true, that we had no real reason to be in Iraq, we still haven’t cut the head off of Al Qaida, we have an ever-looming threat from Iran that we’re ill-equipped to deal with, and nations who used to be our allies around world have begun to think of us as bullies.
And so, what’s needed is change. And not just change for changes sake. The kind of change that challenges us all to look at our political system with a new eye; an eye towards unity across party lines, an eye towards being as eager to strengthen our nations people as we are to strengthen our military, and an eye towards renewing our friendships and alliances around the world. I’m sorry people – this is the message that resonates with me, and this is the message that I hear coming only from Barack Obama. And that’s the point that I made to my friend today.
As always – I challenge each of you, especially if like me, you don’t consider yourself very politically savvy, or astute in presidential politics to read, read, read. The internet offers an endless fountain of information about all of the candidates, and you should use it to its fullest. If you discover what I’ve discovered, you may decide to come back to BlackWomenForObama.org and leave a comment, letting our readers know what I know – that Senator Barack Obama is a true statesman, with a knack for bringing people together across party lines and making things happen, and that’s what we need right now. It’s time for a change in America. Join the revolution.
Patricia Wilson Smith is a columnist, the moderator of this blog, and the author of “Duped By Love”.