In a recent defense of Sarah Palin, I quoted an Obama supporter who, like many with whom I’ve spoken, couldn’t identify any of his candidate’s accomplishments (nor define any of his policy positions).Â He supported the Democrat because of his abilities to inspire and unite.Â In the comments section, a reader wrote “So, you’re using one ignorant supporter’s lack of knowledge about his candidate to support the view that there is no reason to actually support the candidate.”
While I am amazed at the number of Obama supporters who have no clue what their man stands for beyond “hope” and “change,” I do know that many have solid reasons for backing the Illinois Senator.Â Indeed, I’ve been having a regular e-mail exchange with one such woman, a smart and well-read Democrat from my synagogue.
While she and I both have great respect for our rabbi and our faith, we have little in common politically.Â She believes the market meltdown was caused by an absence of oversight.Â I, by too much government involvement the mortgage industry.Â She favors a larger role for the federal government.Â I, a smaller one.
In the end, we’ve agreed to disagree because, as she put it, “I think that Obama’s policies and coalition are better for the broad range of Americans than are McCain’s.Â You believe the opposite.Â The rest is just cant.”Â The cant being each of our particular criticisms of the opposing team.
I can respect her vote for Obama because she is aware of his man’s stands on a number of issues.Â As I’m sure are a great number of Obama supporters.
There are two primary reasons I frequently mention the myriad of other Obamaphiles I meet who, when pressed to identify something their man accomplished, fall silent.
First, to note the hypocrisy of Palin critics (and those who say they can’t vote for John McCain because he tapped her as his running mate.)Â Some of those very oblivious Obama supporters fault Sarah Palin for her lack of experience.Â If experience matters for the vice president, shouldn’t it also matter for the president?
Second, to show how Obama’s success has less to do with “ideology” than persona.Â Most of his supporters don’t realize they’re backing a man who favors a bigger government, much bigger.
If you believe in a stronger federal government at home and a less bold American stance abroad, you have good reason to support Barack Obama for president.Â And I respect your choice (while disagreeing with you decision.)Â That said, it’s troubling that so many Americans have became so enthusiastic for a candidate about whom they know so little.