Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why I Voted for Obama, Since You Asked

Someone graciously asked me why I voted for Obama. Here is my response:

I voted for Obama because his platform lined up with my views on more points than did McCain. I felt McCain would cater more to the rich and capitalism's dark side, though I respected his POW/Vietnam experience deeply. I also admired Obama's character, leadership style, transparency, and journey. I admire his family and appreciate his wife, which says something about the man. I acknowledge there is "spin" everywhere, so I can only go on face value. I was intrigued by how many people rallied around him, voted for the first time, and mobilized on his behalf. People I respect also voted for him and gave me good input.

However, from my perspective, how can I ever truly judge a politician equitably and authentically from this distance? I gotta go with my gut, listen to what lots of other thinkers are saying, compare platforms, pray, and then flip a coin. I had reservations. I would with any candidate.

I understand any campaign makes huge promises and any president has much less control and power once elected, so I don't go much on promises. Once in office, they get much more information, and get pulled by so many people. Not to mention, the process of American government is balanced and yet so complex. So, I am a "wait and see" voter. I, shallow as it sounds, end up simply voting for the one I like the best or fear the least after I do my research.

I still respect Obama. There is valid criticism. There is ill-informed criticism. It is WAY too soon to judge how he is doing. I get a kick out of the fact that there is a group of critical voices outraged that he won a Nobel Peace Prize because they feel he hasn't done anything. Yet that same group is outraged by what they credit him with doing. I know that is way oversimplified, and not a completely fair point, but it makes me smile.

I learned a big leadership lesson in my one year in school administration. As a leader, there are so many sides to any story, so many people with opinions who think you should please them first, and so much insight and information that comes your way as a leader that others are not privy to hearing. People you lead can never gain that much insight into why you do what you do. Yet people form opinions from a half-informed, subjective perspective, and get critical. That's just leadership. So, as a young administrator, I vowed to never criticize a leader from my limited perspective, knowing I don't have all the facts. I wait and see how things go long term, trusting God.

I trust God more than government. Most of us do. Obama is our president. I am learning how to show respect, since I saw how badly Bush was treated, regardless of my opinion. God blesses all nations. The U.S. may or may not be in the front of that line. God will work through our leaders, but that work may not look like we thought it would.

1 comment:

L.Wright said...

Well the schoolyear is coming to a close and I am back perusing some of my favorite blogs. I voted for Obama for many of the reasons you list. I appreciate your humble, yet honest viewpoint. I agree, he is trying to fulfill his promises and we shouldn't be hateful. As you said in an earlier blog, "love wins." P.S. I enjoy Rob Bell and all the Nooma videos as well