Here's the deal. I don't care how you align yourself politically. Whether you are for McCain or Obama is up to you. My problem is when people decide they are either Republican or Democratic and vote accordingly without knowing where their candidate stands -- what is their platform? Even worse, is when people vote based on the popular thing. Recently McCain's campaign came out with an ad stating that Obama is just a celebrity. He's gotten a lot of heat for that. But, really, come on. No one can deny that. This election seems more of a high school popularity contest more than ever. I'm not meaning to offend anyone...but am I the only one who sees this? Before this ad came out, I watched the Obama family on Access Hollywood -- a tabloid news show. That was so weird to me. I would understand 20/20 or Dateline because those have a better reputation of being tv news journalism. But Access Hollywood?
At the Democratic National Convention, it was more of a party than a national convention. According to one journalist, "This seems to me the edgiest Democratic National Convention since 1988. ... his rock star performances are turning more voters off than on." Sheryl Crow performed, pumping up the audience for the main event. Stevie Wonder, John Legend, and Will.I.Am also performed. When interviewed, Fergie, yes, the Fergie who sings Fergilicious, stated that being at the convention was like being at the Super Bowl. Now, I'm glad that politics has her so jazzed, but really. Is she excited about the candidate, Barack (which interestingly enough means "peach" in Hungarian), or is she excited to participate in another part of a celebrity fiasco, in the name of politics? Jessica Alba was also interviewed and she too commented on the energy and excitement. Once again, if this because she is sincerely interested in Obama's platform, that's great, but I'm not convinced. I'm an Oprah fan, I am. But there is video of her crying at the convention. Crying?! Mary J. Blige is hugging her along with Oprah's life long friend, Gayle.
As far as I can tell, his platform on most issues is not that different from Hillary Clinton's, or even John Kerry, for that matter, who lost to George Bush, who wasn't all that popular at the time. So what is it with Obama? Is it because he's black? Is it because he conjures images of John F. Kennedy with his young age and young family? Because clearly, there is something more to the Obama frenzy than his traditional democratic platform.
I believe that Barack Obama is a good man. I believe he has good intentions -- which I didn't believe Hillary Clinton had. I think she wanted power and status. Barack, however, I believe wants to be President because he believes that our nation can be better and he wants to help lead us to that greatness. I also think he has a presidential look -- he is charismatic, distinguished, polished, articulate, and over all seems to be sharp. That is all good. But the manner in which we draw attention to ourselves reflects a bit of our personality, character, and general attitudes. I personally feel that actors and musicians supporting a candidate should hold very little weight against the real, everyday American voters. Who is this candidate anyway? Doesn't a voter want to believe that their president relates with and understands the average American? I don't relate to Hollywood. My life is anything but Hollywood and the flashing lights distract me from his message. I'm afraid it is distracting many Americans from his real message as well.
"Clearly the Obama campaign saw this speech as Step One in humanizing a candidate who, as I have referenced above, is seen as a cerebral prodigy, as an inspiring orator, as (in the views of some) the object of adoration of a cult—but not as a guy we feel we know as a human being." Perhaps people feel this way because of all the celebrity attention. This was the case before McCain mentioned it, and, in my opinion, it is even more the case now.
Vote for Obama if you feel he is the man best for the job. If you agree with his views on taxes, economy, health care, abortion, foreign policy, traditional marriage, and of course the war on Iraq (all of these I do have my own opinions on, but that is not the topic of this entry of course). Vote for him if you understand his policies and where he wants to take the country. The same is for McCain. But don't shout praises in the name of Obama simply because it's popular. Vote for him because you agree with him and because you believe, based on the facts, that the "change" he speaks of is for the better. Likewise, vote for McCain because you agree that his "country first" campaign really will put the state of our country in a better place.