A Conservative For Obama
A reader says I left out some of the reasons I have cited before:
Along with all the loftiness, I thought there was some sort of down-to-earth pragmatism that drove your support. That is to say, his candidacy is important not only because of what it represents symbolically. Supporters believe in his ability to understand them, to be reasonable in his positions, to shirk the politically expedient course.
Even though you disagree with him, you believe he is being intellectually honest in his policy considerations. And you trust his worldly, intelligent, reasoned decisions -- ones that you might disagree with -- more than you could trust decisions reached by someone parochial and emotional -- even if they are consistent with your own. Obama's broad-mindedness (and your own belief in the power of reason) has likely allowed you to overcome your disagreements with him. He's the clear alternative to political hackery and insular decision-making. And we've all seen how dangerous these can be.
That is indeed how I feel. The remarkable thing about Obama - and it's sad it's become remarkable - is that when you ask him a question, he actually seems to be listening and mulling a reasonable response. Like a normal person. After canned, parsed newspeak slogans from our president - "we don't torture", "freedom is on the march", "it's hard work" - this comes as relief.