Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Cautionary Thought About Egomaniacs

When I attended a rally in Detroit for Barak Obama I knew what he was going to say. Not the general content, but the exact words he was going to use. I am not telepathic, I just happened to hear excerpts from the speech he had given the day before in Virginia on NPR that morning. I knew what his pleas for the economy would be. I knew his zingers. I knew that he cared about Main St. It is for that reason that I either pity the man or suspect him--who in their right mind would subject themselves and their family to 20 months of public exposition?

Public service is honorable, but there is always the question of whether you intend to serve the public or you intend for the public to serve you (re: Kennedy's "Ask not" speech). Obama moved from an Illinois state senator to run for U.S. House three years later. Four years after that he ran for U.S. Senate and four years after that (well two, really) he ran for president. The humility of civil service is realizing that whether you serve 100,000 or 100 million you are still doing the same amount of good. The moral obligation to serve others is not about the effect, but the responsibility.

I am bothered by this. I am bothered that such a bright man would be willing to give the same stupid stump speeches (allbeit eloquently) day after day after day, reducing political discourse to a pabulum over the course of 400 days. I am bothered by the fact that he is willing to vote for the USA Patriot Reauthorization Act despite having grave concerns about it. I am bothered that he voted for FISA and still does not believe it was the wrong vote. I am bothered because I cannot tell whether Obama wants to serve us, or we are supposed to support him.

This election is certainly an historic one, and I understand that Obama had a shot at the Whitehouse that might not have presented itself again, but I am still bothered. I hope to be shown what this man can truly do for our country.

No comments: