I'll go ahead and admit it right now: I did not know a whole lot about either candidates around election time. My mind filtered down the endless amount of information about each candidate into small, bite-sized data. More specifically, I focused on the tax issues, because taxes effect my family and I most immediately.
However, while perusing the "Hot Items" table at Barnes and Nobles, I took notice of a certain book focusing on Barack Obama. Yes, there were hundreds of books about/by Obama for sale, but this one in particular grabbed my attention because it focused on his policies. I realized I owed it to myself and my nation to try to understand my new president in a way that's beyond "PRO" this or "ANTI" that. The book promised to quench this new thirst of mine. So, for the first time in my life, I made a conscious effort to really get to know Barack Obama through the book "Change We Can Believe In."
While reading this book, one of the first things I have come to realize about Obama is that he is an idealist. I suppose this makes sense since his whole campaign was about believing in change; but it's not just about changing from This to That or Red to Blue- it's about changing from unfair to fair. For example, Obama states that his desire to shift the tax structure around is not from some self-serving interest; it is because there are some secretaries who pay higher taxes then their CEO's.
An unexpected effect of reading this book is that I can now carry on a conversation or debate with a good bit of information on Obama and his policies. Let me explain what I mean- Living in a Red state, I have probably heard any & every reason why Obama should not be given control of our delicate country. He's a Socialist. He has no experience. He'll take away all our guns. And while many of these arguments have some footing, I don't think these reasons necessarily make him the anti-Christ. Thankfully, because of the book I've been reading, I finally can finally voice my opinion with some bit of knowledge as a basis.
He's a socialist
Obama has said time & time again: "Wall Street cannot flourish while Main Street crumbles." There is a fundamental truth to this. Huge mega-corps cannot expect decent revenues when the consumer is down & out (unless these mega-corps control necessities like gas... Chevron). I also belive that this whole "socialistic view" is not appropriate for such an individualistic nation. BUT, I believe that such approaches are necessary when we are in times of such economic turmoil. I feel that if Obama ran with the exact same stances, but during a time of economic well being, he would not have NEAR the support as he did this past election. He basically offered a helping hand to the middle & lower classes, and they gladly embraced him.
He has no experience
Ok now I really do have a hard time supporting Obama on this one. I mean, I can offer a few "Yea but"s, but no real potent counters. Yea- he might not have much experience, but neither did some of our most successful entrepreneurs (Google, Microsoft, etc). Yea-, but he's not making decisions on his own. He doesn't say "Hmm- let's do THIS to taxes." He will discuss any drastic changes with his advisors & then Congress must pass most of his changes. Yea-, but Sarah Palin could have been our V.P. Done.
He'll take away our guns
Well, yes & no. Obama has made it clear that he will ban Assault Rifles & certain shotguns. He intends to accomplish this seemingly impossible goal by re-enacting the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which is an Act passed by Congress. (Interestingly enough, the last President to pass this Act was Clinton.) However, this Act will prevent guns from being bought/sold after the date it is enacted; it is not retroactive. If you purchase a sem-automatic weapon prior to the passing of the Act, you are safe from any type of legal issues (assuming you aren't stupid with it).
So, I'd say this book was a success & I'd encourage as many to read it as possible. I didn't read it looking to be inspired. I read it to become informed; and informed I have become.
So I encourage you, young America- become informed. Maybe not in the same ways I have, but in some way, any way. In case you didn't realize it- the future is on our shoulders.