Does the title of this post shock anyone? After researching both candidates and especially looking into the scary negative stuff about Obama that seemed to be passed around quite a bit in Mormon communities (and finding out that most of it was trumped up or untrue), I had to vote for Obama. And come on, when you heard his speech and saw him up there with his family, you had to feel some excitement. Change has definitely come. We'll have an African American man in the highest office in this country. We'll have someone younger and more visionary than we've had in a long long time. We really needed some clear and obvious change.
This election presented me with a very interesting choice. Should I vote for a career politician without great popularity as a senator, questionable family values, nothing stellar on his resume, a face that would present the world with the idea that America is stagnated and seeped in the same old stuff, some political views I agree with and some I don't? Or should I vote for a very bright man with great energy and vision, strong personal morals, a relatively short political career so far, a seeming ability to bring people together for new solutions, a face that would offer international acceptance and excitement, and some political views I agree with and some I don't? I chose the later.
I'd rather see someone with strong personal morals and vision and some lack of experience in the White House than a guy who didn't offer enough positives to outweigh his negatives. The excitement Obama brings is so important to our country right now. I believe that that excitement will do a lot for our economy and for our important international relationships. And with the checks and balances built into our government and good people in many offices on the Hill, I don't see an Obama presidency leading us into socialism or heralding a solid advance for gay marriage or abortion rights. The president's personal political beliefs don't directly correlate to what policy gets written into law. But the president's personal values and persona has a huge impact on our nation and the world as a whole. And Obama beats McCain hands down in this regard.
So go Obama! May the prayers and hopes of people in both parties help you make good decisions as you surround yourself with smart, experienced people who can offer good ideas and advice. May you inspire us all to be better and do more and be generous and reach out to others rather than pumping up programs that offer hand-outs rather than hand-ups. May you help Americans embrace both charity and self-reliance. May you encourage tolerance and appreciation of differences without allowing the courts to overturn the will of the people (as in Prop 8). May the vision and excitement you bring be something that is lasting and that will lead to real change.
And may we all do what we can do to make our own communities and homes a better place because as Barbara Bush once said - "What really matters is not what happens in the White House but what happens in YOUR house (or community)."