As Goodness as It Gets – Why Obama will succeed
McCain and Clinton made you think you’d get a better deal,
Obama makes you want to be a better person
Skeptical though I may be, here are three reasons that I feel optimistic that President elect Obama has “the right stuff” to lead us out of the crises we face.
1. Actions speak louder than words. For us to get through this crisis, we need to act as a “we.” “All about me” and “All about us” are passive and reactive mindsets. Children – and Americans – learn more how to behave not from what parents and Presidents tell them, but from what they do. Obama in conducting his campaign and in selecting the best, the brightest and hopefully the wisest is not just talking about the need for “us” to work together, he is demonstrating in actions how “we” can do it.
2. Engender trust, command respect and inspire confidence. Many reasons have been given for why Obama won including his mastery of the Internet, his amazingly error and gaffe free campaign and his playing it cool. All of those were important, but we still would not have voted for him had he not engendered trust, commanded respect and behaved more presidential than his opponents. The latter quality inspired our confidence in spite of his lack of experience.
Why did we trust and respect him as a person more than Clinton or McCain? Why did have trouble trusting and respecting and why did we lose confidence in Clinton and McCain to make up for whatever confidence we didn’t have in Obama?
Rightly or wrongly, Clinton’s, McCain’s and Palin’s ambition, need to be right, and appetite for power kept seeping and peaking through much of what they said and did.
Too often they appeared to care more about winning than in helping America. Too often they resorted to tearing down Obama than in proposing solutions. When in the face of their attacks, Obama occasionally chuckled I was reminded of Ronald Reagan saying repeatedly to Jimmy Carter, “There you go again” as if he was sharing an inside joke with all of us suggesting, “Look at my opponents posturing and thumping their chests. Look at how they are losing your respect each time they do it, and they don’t even see it. I’m even a little embarrassed for them aren’t you (think of third Obama McCain debate).” Both Barack and Michelle Obama appeared more comfortable in their own skins because instead of trying to poorly disguise ambition in power hungry clothing as did their opponents, the Obamas manifested aspirations in possibilities clothing.
3. The mom and dad we didn’t have, but wished we did. Children get their mannerisms from either parent, but get the values they live by more from how their parents like, respect, trust, support and collaborate with each other.
Many people over the years have told me that they were “homesick for a home they never had and sick from the one they had.” Children who see parents who are “all about me” grow up into “all about me” adults who don’t value cooperation or collaboration and are unable to do it.
Barack and Michelle’s regard for each other serve as a wonderful role model for the “we” that is lacking between most mothers and fathers. I have heard many people say how much they wish they’d had parents like the Obamas instead of the parents they did have.
The more we see them trusting, respecting, supporting, cooperating and collaborating the more we want to entrust our well being into their care.
A skeptic is reluctant to believe; a cynic refuses to believe. A skeptic is someone who once believed and was disappointed; a cynic is someone who once believed and was betrayed. Deep inside all skeptics and even most cynics is a deep hunger to believe once more but to do so without the fear of being disappointed or betrayed again.
I know that I for one am hungry for it.