By Khalid Salaam
I have a love/hate relationship with politics. Always have. But that doesn’t meant I’m indifferent to voting or to paying attention to what happens. I have a love/hate relationship with the media as well but obviously that hasn’t stopped me from working in this field. Because just like the media, politics and the policies brought forth by the people we elect still have an enormous effect on my life. Just because you’re not on the train doesn’t mean it’s not taking off from the station. And Tuesday Feb 5th is the next scheduled departure.
Before I announce whom I’m supporting I should tell you guys that I was down with Bill Richardson pretty strongly. I just felt that on paper he had the strongest credentials. But for whatever reason people just didn’t respond to him, he never was a media darling or a Democratic Party favorite. He was always one of the “oh yeah I forgot about him” candidates with Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. On the day he dropped out Richardson appeared on MSNBC and thought that one of the reasons voters shunned him was that people lumped him in with the old guard Washington set and since change is such a big deal this year, anything that seems old is a bad look.
After Richardson left I spent several days thinking about each candidate and their pros and cons. Same stuff you’ve heard a hundred times but I wanted to really think about it. Just really get into it and see how I felt. The stakes are high this year but don’t believe the BS they tell you on the news and in the papers and mags. The stakes are always high. They tell you this is the biggest election in our generation but every election is important. The only difference is people actually realize it this time and are amped to do something about it. After Bush people are super-nervous and want to do the right thing. The war, economy, health care, immigration, security, energy crisis, etc. There are so many important issues. People are focused this year. That’s why it’s been so competitive, that’s why it’s the dominant news story of every day and will be until November.
So yeah I’m going for Obama. Some of you who don’t know me will think that this was an obvious decision for me. Trust me it wasn’t. I’ve had many a convo discussing this topic and I’ve never been among the consensus. I just think that Obama’s health and economic plan and his focus on unity is something intriguing. There have been many articles about what your decision says about you in regards to Clinton and Obama. Barack appeals to the dreamers, the people who hope for things unseen. Clinton appeals to the realists, the people who trust applied and successful methods of doing things. I’ve more of a realist, I believe in mathematics and science. That dreaming is for people who don’t want to take the responsibility of doing the hard, scary things that have to be done sometimes in order to change the world or your life. But I’m also a dreamer and have imagined and assumed things based upon my belief system and a belief that there are some things preordained to occur. I’m both. And I get the sense that Hil is not. The pragmatic stuff I get but sometimes you have to look beyond what’s in front of you. I know that Obama isn’t exactly what I want but he has enough of what I value that I will sign-up. Funny thing is if the Republican nominee is McCain and he wins its not the end of the world. As far as the GOP candidates, he’s the one who is the least scary. Romney is a corporate thug and I don’t want someone like that in office. He’s the type of dude who announces firings the week before Christmas. He’s all about the bottom line and will defer to money and finance over anything else. Damn that. McCain has his own mind at least. I mean yes, he’s old as a mf and he’s pro staying in Iraq but he is also smart and experienced. And he’s not a punk, he bucks the republican base all the time. He’s the best candidate that side has had that I can remember.
I’m not anti Hilary either. Or Bill for that matters. All the so-called racist stuff that was circulating around a few weeks ago only seems so crazy because we’ve never experienced a race with a Black man in it. It’s all new to us. If she/they won I would be okay with that too. So tomorrow I’m going for Obama. Him winning opens up the door for people like myself, his “militant-sounding” name gives me hope that I can run for office. Thats a joke but i’m saying..it would change things. My columns on the prez race will be a reoccurring theme especially after tomorrow when we’ll have a better idea of how real this thing can get. But if Eli can win the MVP then maybe this is one of those years where the impossible happens. Let’s get it.