Looking Forward

23 10 2008

UPDATE – Conservatives for Change can give us ALL hope going forward! Here’s a sample, about which Eric Hirsberg writes, “There are a number of people in my life — some family, some friends, some colleagues — with whom I have never agreed upon anything political. Ever. These are my political opposites. My bizarre-o twins. And they have been my adversaries in countless debates; the kind nobody ever wins, but nobody ever seems to tire of, either. . .Now, these are not casual conservatives. These are people who, each in their own way, are deeply committed to their conservative beliefs. For most, this will be the first time they have voted for a Democrat in their entire lives. And when taken as a whole, they represent a fair cross section of the Republican Party. Some younger, some older. Some fiscally driven, some culturally driven. But almost all, up until now, have been intractable. Yet here we all are, staring down the barrel of a remarkably nasty presidential election, all in a rare moment of agreement. I figured this simply could not be an anomaly. Perhaps this was a groundswell.

I started asking around and found a number of my liberal friends were having a similar experience. So we asked these folks if they would appear on camera and share with the world why they changed.”

“Ready for Prime Time” by Joe Klein, TIME Blog, October 22:

If he wins, however, there will be a different challenge. He will have to return, full force, to the inspiration business. The public will have to be mobilized to face the fearsome new economic realities. He will also have to deliver bad news, to transform crises into “teachable moments.” He will have to effect a major change in our political life: to get the public and the media to think about long-term solutions rather than short-term balms. Obama has given some strong indications that he will be able to do this, having remained levelheaded through a season of political insanity.

His has been a remarkable campaign, as smoothly run as any I’ve seen in nine presidential cycles. Even more remarkable, Obama has made race — that perennial, gaping American wound — an afterthought. He has done this by introducing a quality to American politics that we haven’t seen in quite some time: maturity.

He is undoubtedly as ego-driven as everyone else seeking the highest office — perhaps more so, given his race, his name and his lack of experience. But he has not been childishly egomaniacal, in contrast to our recent baby-boomer Presidents — or petulant, in contrast to his opponent. He does not seem needy.

He seems a grown-up, in a nation that badly needs some adult supervision.

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17 responses

23 10 2008
Crimson Wife

“He seems a grown-up, in a nation that badly needs some adult supervision.”

Yikes! The LAST thing this nation needs now is a “nanny-in-chief”. Whatever happened to the a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”?

A big part of the problem with the current administration has been the dramatic expansion of the role of the Federal government in recent years- the huge new Medicare drug entitlement, No Child Left Behind, the Patriot act, the recent bailout of Wall Street, and on and on.

It makes me wish that Ron Paul was less of a fruitcake because he’s right in that we need to reign in the size and scope of the Federal government.

23 10 2008
JJ

Or you could wish he weren’t even older than Old Man McCain!

I think this observation meant more that my whole generation, the Baby Boomers, has been immature in some ways and not willing to grow all the way up into our responsibilities even as we approach retirement. Bill Clinton’s presidency suffered from that imo. The Bush years, ack, let’s start forgetting that frat party NOW!

I don’t think of my incredibly brilliant and mature Favorite Daughter as any sort of “nanny” but I happily see a different kind of grown-up in her even now at 18, than I’ve managed to see in myself at, well, the other side of 50. 🙂

23 10 2008
JJ

Speaking of Clinton, you know the author of this piece is Joe Klein, who anonymously wrote the scandalous novel “Primary Colors” about the Clintons, based on his young years with them? I’d argue that lends weight to my interpretation, that he now is older and wiser himself and sees Barack Obama as refreshingly mature, comparatively!

23 10 2008
Nance Confer

Maturity does not necessarily equal whatever your fear is today, CW.

Nance

23 10 2008
JJ

Wow – but Goldwater was mature! I always say my dad the USAF colonel, was a Goldwater conservative. Check this out! Goldwater’s heirs say Obama is the man who will uphold the constitution, and all our freedoms.
****************************

CC Goldwater
Posted October 23, 2008 | 10:28 AM (EST)

Being Barry Goldwater’s granddaughter and living in Arizona, one would assume that I would be voting for our state’s senator, John McCain. I am still struck by certain ‘dyed in the wool’ Republicans who are on the fence this election, as it seems like a no-brainer to me.

Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year. We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics. I learned a lot about my grandfather while producing the documentary, Mr. Conservative Goldwater on Goldwater.

Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.

My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman’s right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930’s, a cause my grandfather supported. I’m not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic freedoms we hold so dear.

For a while, there were several candidates who aligned themselves with the Goldwater version of Conservative thought. My grandfather had undying respect for the U.S. Constitution, and an understanding of its true meanings.

There always have been a glimmer of hope that someday, someone would “race through the gate” full steam in Goldwater style. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened, and the Republican brand has been tarnished in a shameless effort to gain votes and appeal to the lowest emotion, fear. Nothing about McCain, except for maybe a uniform, compares to the same ideology of what Goldwater stood for as a politician. The McCain/Palin plan is to appear diverse and inclusive, using women and minorities to push an agenda that makes us all financially vulnerable, fearful, and less safe.

When you see the candidate’s in political ads, you can’t help but be reminded of the 1964 presidential campaign of Johnson/Goldwater, the ‘origin of spin’, that twists the truth and obscures what really matters. Nothing about the Republican ticket offers the hope America needs to regain it’s standing in the world, that’s why we’re going to support Barack Obama. I think that Obama has shown his ability and integrity.

After the last eight years, there’s a lot of clean up do. Roll up your sleeves, Senators Obama and Biden, and we Goldwaters will roll ours up with you.

23 10 2008
Crimson Wife

Every time I read one of these Obama endorsements from “conservatives”, I keep hearing that ’80’s song “Cult of Personality”…

23 10 2008
lori

Right. Because until they endorsed Obama, they were clear-headed and independent thinkers. But as soon as they like a Democrat, they’ve been suckered.

23 10 2008
COD

Maturity, this week’s Republican code word for socialism.

23 10 2008
JJ

CW, you are young to be so cynical. Can’t you make room for the possibility that Goldwater did, and his grandchildren still do, cleave to an authentic, pragmatic conservatism that predates you, and may be able to survive the end of the neocons?

24 10 2008
Crimson Wife

Of course I’m cynical about politics- I’m part of Gen X. The idealism that seems to come so easily to both my parents’ generation (the Boomers) and my younger brothers’ (Gen Y) just rings false to me. Perhaps that’s why I just don’t “get” Sen. Obama’s appeal.

A friend of mine (also a Gen Xer) was saying the other day that while Obama is no Hitler, he kind of feels like he has a new understanding of Germany circa 1933.

24 10 2008
JJ

Astute. That rings true to me. 🙂

(Not the Hitler part, the generational idealism/cynicism part)

24 10 2008
JJ

I wonder if one needs to have had ideals and then suffered a lot of disillusionment and loss and fear having them dashed, before one can “get” Obama’s change movement as a long-overdue lifeline.

GenY kids probably don’t experience Obama the same way I do, in other words, even if we’re both supporting him. The main reason I’ve been nonpartisan all these decades is that my first presidential vote was for Richard Nixon, and look what happened with that! I’ve never been inspired and as hopeful as I am now, that the long, dark self-destructions might be ending.

24 10 2008
Nance Confer

Talk about damning with faint praise: “Well, he’s no Hitler, but. . .”

Nance

24 10 2008
lori

“he kind of feels like he has a new understanding of Germany circa 1933.”

Disgraceful statement. America today is NOTHING like Germany in 1933. Please study some history. Really.

26 10 2008
Betty Malone

I think what we’re seeing is a new kind of “middle”…with respect for individual choice coupled with constitutional rights..the Goldwater mantel..and an understanding that in today’s global economy..we are all one and we have to change the way we do government, business, life, the environment, respect for divergent religious beliefs and cultural differences, in other words, swim together..or get eaten by the sharks together.

Obama and many of us…defy past labels, not just cult of Obama, but our own sincere belief..that our government can work for us,,but sure hasn’t for many years. We want to be part of a movement that changes it..We want to hope, like the Goldwaters, the Kennedys’, the ex McGovern’s like me, :), that it’s possible. That we can allow people that are gay, that are different, that want and need to make individual choices that their medical decisions, to be who they are, without needing so Mommy group- the Republican Moral Majority telling us how evil we are..and that we need to listen to Mommy to be truly good!

What we see in Obama is us..grown up..mature…ready to lead..and understanding the complexitities of our new horizons..Without needing either Daddy or Mommy to tell us what to do, and how to do it. Just bringing us together to get it done.

If I’m being naive, or foolish about this new group of believers..so be it, but like a lot of Americans, I want to believe that we are ready to “grow up” and assume the responsibility for not leading the world, but being in the world, as a responsible mature adult citizen, not the spoiled arrogant America we’ve been for way too long.

26 10 2008
Nance Confer

How lovely to read these words, Betty. 🙂

Nance

28 10 2008
Betty Malone

Probably very “airy, fairy”, Nance…but hey, I’m getting old..and my hope and longing for a good world to leave by grandchildren..it continues to grow also. 🙂 I want to believe in the world that I read about in A Wrinkle in Time…oh so many ages ago…I still demand that my children and now my grandchildren read that book. I love it! The way that darkness can be fought..with brains and heart.

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