Obama, Politics — October 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Inspiration?


I admit it: I am unabashedly inspired by Barack Obama. I’m inspired by his speeches. I’m inspired by his written words. I’m inspired by the way he has and is running his campaign. And I’m inspired by his life story.

Although I live in the liberal Ann Arbor area, I work in a VERY conservative town. Almost daily I listen to the derision and mocking jibes aimed at Obama, his campaign and his supporters from my coworkers. We’re “socialists”. We’re “terrorist appeasers”. We’ve “drunk the Kool-Aid”.

But I make no apologies.

I remember when Jennifer Granholm, Michigan’s first female governor, gave her first State of the State speech. I was at home alone watching it on television but at one point I jumped to my feet, pumping my fist in the air, and shouted “YES!!!” She was speaking about how we, as Michiganders, living in a state that is hostage to the fortunes of the automotive industry, can move forward as one to change our own destiny. How we, collectively, have the ability to make our state better and more prosperous. And I was ready to help with that after listening to her.

It was maybe the first time in my life that I actually felt inspired by a politician. The second time was when I listened to Barack Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Since then, I have read The Audacity of Hope and listened to him campaign and he continues to inspire with each passing day.

He is a candidate that literally makes me want to take steps to make America a better place.

It’s one thing to make people nod their heads and say, “Yeah, that’s right. I agree.” It’s another thing to inspire people to get off their couches and DO SOMETHING.

That’s worthy of derision from the conservative Right, apparently. Ignoring the fact that many of them saw Ronald Reagan in the same way, they cast aspersions on Obama and his supporters. We see Obama as a guiding light, someone to take us to a better place, and they call it hero worship. They mockingly refer to him as “The One”, as if we see none of his faults and think he can do no wrong. Nevermind that this idea has been proven wrong repeatedly over the past 20 months (his FISA vote angered many and his campaign strategies are continously analyzed and criticized with suggestions about how he could be so much better.) They even see the outpouring of admiration shown during his visit to Europe as somehow worthy of being derided.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for someone who is smart, who is eloquent, and who will help the United States of America regain its stature in the world. I refuse to let conservatives make me feel ashamed of being inspired.

In fact, I’d say it’s high time.

I’m just sayin’…