The Reason To Vote For Obama

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - October 29, 2008
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Hello, my name is Jade and I am stupid. I must be stupid because some of you are telling me so in language like this:

“You really are STUPID!”

“Congratulations ... the office pool has you winning the naïve category.”

“History - is it something you learned?”

“Your gullibility to sweet talking without any substance is rather obvious.”

“Your latest rant in MidWeek just proves you don’t have a brain ...


So you see, in addition to being stupid I am a gullible, ranting, disgusting human being responsible for making at least one MidWeek reader heave up his lunch. Sorry, I hope it wasn’t an expensive meal.

The column that inspired such fervor and contempt was one in which I took the McCain campaign to task for essentially running a dishonest and malicious campaign. The column was fueled by my disappointment in a man I once liked and respected, who always stood up for his beliefs, who refused to compromise his honor, but who somehow has morphed into a politician who will do anything to win.

I followed up a week later with a column pointing out that Obama’s campaign was guilty of fudging the truth as well, though not to the same extent as McCain’s. My point to the Obama camp? If you say you’re the candidate of change, it’s important to live up to it. And we the voters have to demand it.

I do believe that for the most part Obama has kept it above board and McCain has not, and so I make no apologies for supporting a candidate whose message inspires me. I believe there is room in this country - and especially in our Aloha State - for conversation that is passionate and pointed, but also polite and persuasive. In fact, for the first time in many years it appears most Americans are rejecting the old divisive rhetoric. They have realized a liberating truth: Hope is not a dirty word. And idealism is not synonymous with naiveté. Or stupidity.

If you don’t believe me when I say Barack Obama has the judgment to be president, then perhaps you’ll believe conservative columnist George Will:

“Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.”

If you think I’m stupid for believing Obama is completely up to the task of leading our country, maybe you should ponder the words of Republican commentator Charles Krauthammer:

“Part of reassurance is intellectual. Like Palin, he’s a rookie, but in his 19 months on the national stage he has achieved fluency in areas in which he has no experience. In the foreign policy debate with McCain, as in his July news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama held his own - fluid, familiar and therefore plausibly presidential.”

Krauthammer and Will, who do not endorse the Democratic candidate, nevertheless describe Obama as a man of “first-class intellect and first-class temperament.”

And if you think I’m gullible for believing in the politics of change, then listen instead to the words of a true American hero and longtime Republican, Gen. Colin Powell:

“So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we’ve got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities - and we have to take that into account - as well as his substance - he has both style and substance - he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world - onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama.”

A reader accused me of hiding my preference for Obama under the guise of journalistic objectivity. Nonsense. First of all, I am no longer a reporter or a news anchor. I am a columnist, an American citizen and a person with a point of view. And secondly, I have openly spoken of my admiration for Obama, a man who I believe epitomizes the highest values and ideals.

This is it, the final stretch. Next week, we will be the Deciders. Let us cast our votes with respect for all our fellow citizens, no matter the color of your skin or your bumper sticker.

That’s not stupid. That’s America.

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