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.