Honest Man and Politician are normally not words I would put in the same sentence together. Not only with regard to our Indian politicians but generally I think a suitable stereotype is that one has to be slightly crooked or somewhat gray to be successful as a Politician. Wily, crooked, corrupt, , duplicitous, are more common adjectives we use in when we speak of our politicians. (There are no words to describe George W. Bush apart from M.o.r.o.n.)
The well-suited American politicians might be better groomed and polished than their Indian counterparts are, but it seems to be the same animal; vested self-interest, lots of opponent bashing and a lot of double-speak and rhetoric thrown in.
That said I was so surprised watching Round Two of the presidential debate.
While Romney came across as vacuous and critical and seemingly like he’d no plans of his own to bring to the table (other than criticizing the administration) , Obama came across as cogent, forward-thinking and an inspiring ‘man with a plan’.
I’ve made fun of Democrats in the past; not from any serious point of view but as an outsider talking about “Liberals” being tree-hugging vegan hippies and being impotent, but it was all quite flippant opinion more to tease my fervently loyal democratic friends than anything else; and perhaps also in keeping with my minimal expectations of politicians. In the last election Hillary was my number one, two and three, with Senator Shot-gun McCain a faraway fourth. I remember not being impressed with the look of Obama and the broccoli-juicing population that roots for him
Watching last night’s debate and hearing him address the nation changed that for me. America would be lucky to have a leader like Obama at the helm,( especially if the other option is Mitt Romney.)
While both men seemed clever and politician-like during the debate viz a viz not answering direct questions and rhetoric, Obama was incredible to watch because he seemed to genuinely believe in an idea of America re-inventing itself – rebuilding it’s economy, cutting back on Defence spending – he seemed to have a lot of plans. He “talked” like any other politico but all his talk seemed in keeping with a cohesive plan for the future and an idea of a promising future.
Romney in retrospect was just glib and unconvincing. It seemed like his 5 – Point Plan was a work of fiction, homework his dog ate. He could not speak cogently on any aspect of policy ,whether it was creating more jobs or Energy Policies – it seemed he was like any other politician just out to win in any way, “to get” his opponent and to criticise without putting forth ideas/agendas of his own.
I’m personally a fan of America or the idea of America that we grew up hearing of, that my Dad spoke of. A land of possibility, a land of dreams, where anybody could make it good if they’d the gumption and the brains. Not the Fallen America that we’ve seen since the 2000’s . Not George Bush’s version of ‘America As A Bully’, or the America of Self-induced Economic Depression – but the America that Obama speaks of. One that will stand on it’s feet and be educated! And one that is hopefully inclusive , progressive and inspired.
It’s rare to find inspired people, people with far-sighted thinking; I think Obama could be one of those men.
Instead of cowboys like Bush or entitled but “uneducated” elitists like Romney or Akin or Ryan . I think a balanced and thinking leader like him would be good for America and good for the world. (Fingers crossed on cogent Foreign Policy.)
I think Obama is the Hope for America and it was best reflected in the answer he gave to a young boy asking about jobs. Where he said an investment in education was critical both from a personal point of view (the boy’s) as well as from teh countries point of view. That really cinched it from me. It was clear that Obama looked at this young boy (about to graduate from University) as potential and investment whereas Romney made it seem that this graduate class was a liability and potentially adding to the number of unemployed.
Obama went on to give details about how he planned to ensure more jobs (and also gave examples of precedents where he’d done the same) whereas Romney harped on about blaming the previous Government and sheer rhetoric .
So all in all, I have decided that Obama is the man with a plan (even if he has vegan followers :)) and the hope that America reinvents itself.
– Go Obama!
On a side-note, watch this video of the First Lady. She kicks-ass!