Monday, November 3, 2008

I Cant Vote. But i support Barack Obama

Yes, i cant vote since i am not a US citizen. So why should i care about the election? I do because of Barack Obama. Because of hope and because i could see change can come, even in politics.

There are many reasons why i support Barack Obama. And i didnt make my decision last week, or last month or after he beat hillary to be the Democratic Nominee. I made that decision just before the New Hampshire primary when overwhelmed by his victory speech iowa, i decide on the spur of the moment to join a band of supporters who were driving up to manchester, NH to do door-to-door campaigning in nassau county. But i think it goes back even further when i chanced upon his book "dreams of my father" in 2003-04.
And ever since i heard him speak in manchester, NH, i have been meaning to blog my reasons to support him. I guess with just hours left before be becomes president, its time to at-least pen some thoughts down.

I have had many discussions and debates with people who were initially reluctant to support obama. They thought we was just a "good orator". Some said, "he is too naive and is promisng the world" and many said, "he is too inexperienced - he has not been whetted yet." Yes valid points but then you dont necessarily decide such matters by looking at one trait in isolation or comparing a person with another just on the basis on one characteristic. I think the decision, as the INS always does in immigration matters is based on a Case-by-Case basis and on a point-by-point basis.

1. Ideas and Words
Lets begin with words and ideas. I have heard many folks say "he is just words." Words are nothing. Yes, words in themselves can mean nothing. But words can also mean a lot, specially when spoken with earnestness and honest intention tempered with real-life feelings. Barack Obama just didnt use words to stir up a campaign. No he communicated feelings, thoughts and ideas that inspired, that catalyzed, motivated and above all resonated with my (an i believe millions more) sense of governanace, of political leadership. He was saying "what ought to be and now what we have or are made to have". It is words who give some forms to abstract ideas about liberty and justice. It was the famous words "lets put a man on the moon" that galvanized a nation to spur towards that goal. Ideas are powerful catalysts for change. Words express them and help communicate them and barack has done so effectively.

Yes, just words and ideas are not enough (as an entreprenuer i know that well). Execution is important. So lets look at execution

2. Execution and Experience

"He doesnt have enough experience", a good many friends have countered with that argument. Yes, he doesnt have even a full terms experience in the senate. But before we ask how much experience is necessary for someone to qualify as a president (constitutionally there is no such requirement), it is important to go back anad ask "experience of what?" Is that necessary that one has to demonstrate experience in one particular job to "really become experienced". Countless examples exist that prove that there is no such absolute requirement.

3. Character

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