Why younger educated voters are attracted to Barack Obama

Barack Obama ended his speech at American University with the invocation of “God bless you”—something that I thought only conservatives were able to do. The invocation of “God bless you” might disturb those with strong liberal tendencies but it got my attention in a good way; however, it wasn’t the only thing that got my attention. During Sen. Edward Kennedy’s endorsement speech, Kennedy mentioned something about Obama’s character that I could agree with. I am not a Kennedy fan or an Obama supporter though I might sound like I’m endorsing Barack Obama. As a younger and educated person I’m tired of old style politicking (I’m Canadian so I have no vote, but I can gripe and offer my opinion). My point is that I have noticed something in Obama that I have not seen in many other candidates—Republican or Democrat. What impresses me most about Obama is his character and leadership. Whether you agree with his policies or not, Obama seems to be someone who refuses to be trapped in the old politics and less-than-savory tactic of demonizing others. This is something I have seen very little of in most of the candidates. This is why he is so appealing to the younger more educated crowd. It is something younger generations of new voters have never seen in politicians before. This classy attitude of Obama was also what initially got my attention during the Democratic debate. He is tough and will stand up for himself, and he refuses to be cornered by his Democratic opponent’s backhanded tricks. Back-stabbing and demonization by liberals and conservatives have turned people off from politics in the past, but Barack Obama seems to be able to turn young people on, and exude a new confidence in them. This is an example of new-style politics we are yearning for—one that is without a heavy divisive tone, which is unlike what we have seen in Hillary Clinton’s style of politicking. Divisive language and rhetoric has been so prevalent in her campaign that many find it very difficult to listen to her divisive rhetoric.

Obama’s inspiring speech of hope for a new future really impresses me even though I may not agree with some of his ideas. All politicians can be critical of their opponents and express their unique platform policies, solutions to problems, and wonderful new ideas. That’s relatively easy to do. But more to my point is that I have not heard many who can really be positive, optimistic, and inspirational. I have listened to conservatives and liberals but have heard very few, like Obama, who has the rare ability to inspire genuine hope to a generation that is seeking change for the better. Whether you like him or not, you might be able to agree that he is truly an inspirational speaker to listen to. He also speaks from the heart and he believes the dream for a better future is possible. His optimism and charisma is similar to that of John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Though he is liberal, he is broad-minded enough to mention some of the positive things that the conservative President Ronald Reagan has done for America in the past. I don’t think Clinton would ever do something like this. In fact, Hillary Clinton took advantage of the situation to attack Obama for his class act of being diplomatic and conciliatory toward Reagan’s past contributions. If you’re a conservative, or a liberal, and neither of you like what I say, there’s a lot of other blogs out there that will give you one-sided liberal or conservative opinions that you may totally agree with. But I will stick my neck out and say that I like Obama for his willingness and ability to understand people on both sides of the aisle, even though he may not be a conservative. He tries to understand and sympathize with the challenges in people of different races, genders, incomes, and social status. That’s recognizing the realities in people’s lives. His diplomacy and good character is a style of politics that inspires, within young people, a renewed confidence in politicians. What a contrast to the old days when young people were, or still are, turned off about politics and political cronyism. I’m a conservative but I wish to see more politicians of all parties display more of these admirable traits. I’m not saying that Obama is the ideal politician for everyone, I’m just saying that he is fair and level-headed in battle with his opponents. At this point, I am not sure if there’s a Republican candidate who strikes me as someone who is as charismatic as Barack Obama but I’m sure they are out there waiting in the wings for their opportunity to shine one day for conservative ideals. But for the time being, if the future president of the United States should be a Democrat rather than a Republican, I think Barack Obama would be my preference.

6 thoughts on “Why younger educated voters are attracted to Barack Obama

  1. Hi, this comment is probably too late, but I just found your web site while researching Nooma. Anyway, my biggest issue with Obama is his view on abortion/partial birth abortion. I find it interesting and was really surprised that abortion did not come up in the discussion. I am curious to know if his abortion stance will affect christian/conservative voters.
    By the way this is an awesome site.


  2. Robert, I guess if you take a look at issues, he is probably quite liberal. I know he is against the war in Iraq and wants to pull out all the troops. If he saying that he’d pull them out without affecting the political stability of Iraq, but I think that would be pretty much impossible. Al Queda would ultimately fill the power vacuum and try to turn the people away from democracy. It seems that public opinion is turning against the war and I don’t know anymore myself either.


  3. I am reading his book “The Audacity of Hope”, trying to better understand. They say he has no substance, well I’ll see for myself what he has to say on his book.

    Two things that concern me, the first would be his stance on Iraq, which by the way he does have a chapter devoted to it. I heard him say that he would be careful getting out. But what does that mean?

    Also, he voted against John Roberts for the Supreme Court Nomination, but defended those who did. My question would be, who would he have preferred?

    But I do like him, I am 42 and he was born the same year my oldest brother was. He would have been 47 this year as well.


  4. Nathan, good for you. I think Obama excites a lot of us younger people because he has vision. Visionary and inspirational leaders are rare in this world. McCain and Clinton do not strike as such leaders. But I have to say that I do find my natural home in the conservative camp, but if there is a leader who strikes me as visionary and inspirational without leaning the boat too far left and who has a dynamic worldview, I might vote for that candidate regardless of the political party. Like you, I think politics, and even religion, should be dynamic and not static. Sometimes, the situation may call for a more liberal policy, and sometimes, it may call for a conservative stance. It should never be permanently polarized to the left or right. That is why we have a democracy.


  5. I am turning 30 in May, and am a male evangelical christian who voted for Bush both terms. I disagree with a few of Obama’s stances, but I find him preferable to McCain or Clinton. If Huckabee can actually pull of the nomination (almost impossible?) then I am not sure who I’d vote for. However, I voted for Obama in the MO primary last week, and if he’s nominated and running against McCain I am voting for Obama.

    I think the fact that he’s from a younger generation and has views that resonate with younger generations is one of the major appeals. I find myself with similar feelings when it comes to the elders, deacons, and pastors in the church as well. Those from the older generation seem stuck in their ways, and not usually open-minded to ideas which differ from their own. Politically, I think it is a very similar story.


  6. Hello Kevin,

    I too am a Conservative Republican, and share much of what you have expressed. I have been thinking of writing something along the lines of you just wrote. His is very inspiring, and when I think of the historical landmark it makes that much more inspiring.

    Great thoughts!



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