Political things...

I've had a number of postings about Sen. Barack Obama over the months and the presumption probably is that I'm a Republican of some sort.

Actually I'm not. I've voted for Republican candidates in the past but largely as a "This one will hurt me less..." vote then "Wow, I'm inspired" vote. Whatever else President Bush is he has appointed judges who are less likely to meddle with my life then others and that, for example, is a plus. Of the two major party candidates running neither sends chills up my spine.

Among the books I've been reading lately is "The Revolution: A Manifesto" by Rep. Ron Paul. The mainstream media have widely dismissed him as a crank but I appreciate his, unfortunately radical in these times, idea that we should govern the country by sticking as closely to the actual constitution as possible. That for those ideas he has been publicly marginalized, although he's a huge "underground" success, says something about the state of things these days. Not many Americans have read the Constitution and I suspect if they did they'd look at it and the current state of things and say "Something's wrong here." I suppose that makes me, in general, a "constitutionalist" because I think as a matter of politics the American experiment has abandoned its origins to its own detriment.

My interest in Sen. Obama, though, is largely as a cultural phenomena. His politics of change is hardly that and by the way neither is Sen. McCain's. Sen. Obama's programs represent nothing new, just a different packaging of decades old leftist ideas but the kind of 'rock star" quality around him intrigues me. Some of this is the media, many of whom see him as the "next big thing" and instead of doing their jobs want to get in on the action. Some of it is his personal style. Sen. Obama has mastered the art of African American preaching and even if don't agree with or understand what he is saying his oratorical skills are lightyears above Sen. McCain's, a man who always appears in speeches with the look of someone at the dentist. Some of it is our American desire for something new in politics and even if his ideas are leftovers his face is not and I suspect some of his support is a way for some Americans to "pay back" for the horror of slavery and segregation.

Yet its a long way to November and we'll see what happens. The greatest political act of all is your own conversion because as it progresses it touches the whole world with truth and light. In four years there will be another set of folks on the television pitching ideas but that truth will remain.

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