In just a few short weeks America is going to elect itself a brand new president. And his name is probably going to be Barack Hussein Obama. Get used to it.
From the first time I heard Obama speak, I knew there was something special about this guy. The fact that I was there at all happened more or less by accident. But the more I think about it, the more I've come to realize that a fair amount of destiny was also involved.
At the time I was an Edwards supporter, and happened to get caught up in the Beatlemania type traffic tie-up in the neighborhood he was scheduled to speak at, while making my rounds for the sales job I held at the time. Realizing what was going on, and rather than fight it, I decided to park my rig and go check out what all the fuss was about.
What I saw that day at Key Arena in Seattle absolutely transfixed me — and I'm not just talking about what the candidate himself had to say. Make no mistake, Barack Obama is a charismatic speaker, and everything he had to say that day made the sort of perfect sense that qualifies as almost a sort of after thought.
The concept of affordable health care made available to everyone as a right rather than a burdensome entitlement? Check. Bringing our troops home with honor from the messy and misguided quagmire that has become our involvement in Iraq? Check.
Even the sort of "spreading the wealth" idea that John McCain criticized Obama for in the most recent debate, in the form of tax breaks that actually impact the middle class rather than just fatten the wallets of the corporate CEOs, made complete, no-brainer sense to me.
The one thing I've never quite understood about Republican economics is the simple fact that it takes two to tango in an economic system that is going to remain sound. You've got the people who provide or manufacture the goods and services, and you've got the people who buy them. When the regular Joes out there can't afford to buy the goods, then how are you going to sell them? Which means it's in the best interests of the fat cats not to run rough-shod over the "rabble" that constitutes the middle class.
Well, at least you'd think. Which is why Obama's concept of redistribution of the wealth which has disproportionately favored the rich going as far back as Reagan is not the radical sort of idea some would lead you to believe. It actually makes the most common sort of sense, particularly as we've seen the economic rape of the middle class under eight years of the economic policies of George Bush, and in recent weeks seen the way they have come home to bite the country as a whole squarely on the ass.