Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An Obama-Mama Reflects

President Obama! Not only does it roll off the tongue a lot easier than President-Elect Obama, but it certainly gives a much warmer feeling than President Bush.

It goes without saying that the world has been captivated by Barack Obama and his family. The entire campaign was memorable and it got people around the world rooting for the US again.

As a human being, political junkie and lover of all things classy, I definitely have a crush on the man. And not just because he's incredibly handsome (although that, he certainly is). I've had a crush on him since the start, but I've found myself critically questioning why. Which is something that a lot of people now seem to be doing.

Obama penned the idea of his campaign as being one of "hope" and hope, they have. People have high hopes for the first African-American President, a democrat, a fairly lefty thinker, a powerful orator and a very charismatic man. And a young one to boot! Obama, the person, has won many fans. A recent poll here in Canada found that Canadians certainly do have a crush on Obama the man, but that they are "lukewarm" about his policies. (More on that last part in a second).

But in building up his campaign on the prospects of "hope", he is doomed to disappoint and outright fail many people. Bush left the place in shambles, with little money and little "hope" of there being more anytime soon. To quote the always clever "This inauguration feels like a first date with a really great guy after a dysfunctional eight year relationship with a loser who took all my money".

So Obama isn't exactly starting off in prosperous times.

But personally, I still have "hope". He has made decisions that I have not supported, including his inclusion of crazy homophobe Rick Warren at inauguration.

However, he has a pro-choice stance, gave a shout out to the GLBTQ in one of his most important speeches to date, is a fan of social security and wants to close down Guantanamo Bay. There are also rumours about his desire to reverse the Global Gag rule, which denies funding to aid organizations that include abortion in the list of options they give clients. I'm thinking this is all a step in the right direction and if his policies continue down this road, never mind lukewarm, I'm in love!

As feminists, I think we need to move past the constant discussions, arguments and dialogue about whether or not Obama is a feminist. Ms. Magazine claims that he told them he was and so far, his policies have demonstrated that he most certainly could be. (Oh and for the record, if you don't believe me, watch Naomi Wolf totally prove it to you). But let's wait and let his actions speak for themselves.

As Canadians, I think we need to embrace the new wave of change in the US of A and quite frankly, turn our attention to our own country. A majority of people I spoke to watched Tuesday's inauguration but had no idea that the Speech from the Throne is happening on Monday and that the budget is going to be released on Tuesday; which is major, major stuff for Canada. And quite frankly, will directly impact our daily lives more than the Obamas ever will.

And I know what you're thinking and yes, you're right. What dog the Obamas choose is far more exciting than listening to what 4 old white guys have to say next week. But you don't pay your taxes to the Obamas, so what's really more important?


Ta da said...

Man or should I say Women you sure can write.

love reading your stuff.

Glad your on our side

keep it up
A la later

Frank Buchan said...

Obama seems a good man, but I suspect when the difficulties of change appear, many Americans who once supported him villify him. He will succeed or fail now more because of those around him than himself.

I am glad you observed that as Canadians we really ought to turn our attention inward some. Sadly, as it stands in our system, we have a complete paralysis of policy due to interst groups, and technicalities -- and no matter your political stripe, verylittle is likely to happen that affects positive change.

I also wonder what will happen to the Canadian love of Obama, because the fact is what is good for the USA is not likely to be entirely positive for us.

Great post, nonetheless.