A part of me is glad to see so many Asian Americans involved in the Obama campaign -- it seems like more than in any other presidential campaign. I've also seen and talked to friends whose parents voted for Obama, even those who are registered Republican. For the first time, young folks and their parents agreed on whom to vote for. That's some progress, I think.
But what I've also seen from a distance is that since Obama started his campaign for presidency, he's moved further to the right. On domestic issues, he is still a little left of center, which is about as good as we can get with a two-party system. In terms of civil rights, I wonder if I'll ever live to see the day that a US president opposes the death penalty or supports same sex marriage. We'll see. Only hoping.
If you listen to Obama talk about foreign policy, he doesn't sound that different from other candidates. If so many Americans are against the war now, why vote for a president who might bring us into another war? Have people not been listening to what he's saying about Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan? He isn't hiding anything. I just don't completely get the lovefest that we have around Obama, especially from so-called progressives. I also hope that liberals and progressives who supported Obama really think deeply not just about domestic civil rights issues but international policy.
I'm also curious to see what's going to happen with all this energy around the elections. Are people going to continue organizing and advocating now that the elections are over, and if so, for what? Will Obama be a better president than, say, Kucinich or Nader would've been? Is he going to bring us into another war? How is our world going to get better if he just appointed a staunch Israel supporter to be his chief of staff?
I've also been really disappointed with his disassociating himself from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and being Muslim. I encourage you to watch more of Wright's speech. (To me, he's just telling the truth). I understand it's not Obama's job to justify what someone else says, or even contextualize and educate people on the "black experience." But could it have been a "teaching moment" for the rest of the country? Or would it have been pure political suicide? And it's fine to say that you're not Muslim if you're just not. But why not go further and say, what's the big deal if I was?
I just see so many people getting caught up in Obama-fever, and without really pushing any issue in particular except getting people to vote and support Obama. So now that that's over, what's next? And am I the only one feeling this way?
* I know Nader is not white. His parents are immigrants from Lebanon and I think they are Arab American. But most people don't know this. He passes for a white dude in our racially constructed society.