Saturday, November 01, 2008

This time he's different

It’s been a long time since a politician has impressed me. For the most, they occupy the step on the ladder of morality just below that step reserved for attorneys. But this one, he is different. So different in fact that he reminds me in so many ways like the first (and last) politician who I admired, John F. Kennedy. What is it that connects these two?

First, they know how to speak in such a way that you listen. Their words are not simply tools to pick your pocket and bank account, but to touch your heart and soul, to remind us that we are here at a special time in the course of the world, the years occupied by our presence on Earth and our effect upon society and upon each other.

Barack Obama speaks to me. His speeches, all self-written, do not for the most part merely attack John McCain. In fact, in most of Obama’s major speeches, he hardly goes to that well. In his recent half hour of a paid television advertisement, he did not mention his opponents with a single reference. What kind of man spends that kind of exposure and those kinds of dollars and doesn’t take a swipe at his opponent?

A decent man. A man so full of new ideas and new ways of dealing with our place in the course of history that 30 minutes could hardly be enough time to explain his view of our world and our role in this special time and place.

I have been around since about the middle of the last century. During these years there have been precious few decent men who asked me for my vote for President. I was too young to vote for JFK. I wasn’t given the privilege to vote for his brother Robert, but I did cast an anti-war ballot for George McGovern.

Since then, the body of candidates who have emerged from the cesspool of party politics were more or less mediocre and ambitious relics of a political system based on greed, power and spoils that inure to the winners. The fringe candidates, well they were just that, fringe candidates. So what was left? Angry and disappointed, what was left was my own personal boycott of the process. Yea, I certainly taught them a lesson.

This time he is different. His voice and his vision are different. His words empower me to do better. His ideas compel me to think about how good we can be as a society and how much I can make a difference in my small slice of life and presence on Earth.

I remember  those feelings, they were the same ones that appeared on my screen as a ten year old kid in Detroit, circa 1959, when this strange sounding man from Boston captivated the good in me and encouraged me to start paying attention to the bigger picture in my life and my role in it. He made me want to be better, be all that I could be, contribute to making my world a better place and not want nor expect anything in return other then the satisfaction that we did make a difference, a positive difference and all was not in vain.

Barack Obama has rekindled those aspirations in me. I am no longer an innocent ten year old. I am closer to the end, then the beginning of my reign on Earth. But unlike then, I am now old enough to vote, old enough to be a part of this voice for change and old enough to be proud and privileged to be a part of history.

I see the world embracing this man, a symbol of all that is good about the United States, honored that he and I are both Americans. Generation after generation are standing in line to hear his voice and listen to his words. He and they understand together the meaning of hope. I can no longer hide in my cocoon of indifference, withdrawn into the sullen void of, “They are all a bunch of crooks.”

Because this one, he is different, because this one reaches that little boy of ten, because this one makes this man in his fifties feel that he can make things better with a single vote, because of this, I am voting Tuesday, for Barack Obama.



Anonymous said...

Vote for this man.

Edwardo said...

You have made the first and greatest mistake in assessing anyone's putative claims of authenticity. You have focused on their words and not on their deeds. I agree that Obama's surface has a certain appeal, but that is all.

Here is Alex Cockburn on Obama:

“In these last days I’ve been scraping around, trying to muster a single positive reason to encourage a vote for Obama.

Obama invokes change. Yet never has the dead hand of the past had a “reform” candidate so firmly by the windpipe. Is it possible to confront America’s problems without talking about the arms budget, now entirely out of control? The Pentagon is spending more than at any point since the end of World War II. In “real dollars” the $635 billion appropriated in fiscal 2007 is 5 percent above the previous all-time high, reached in 1952. Depending on how you count them, the Empire has somewhere between 700 and 1,000 overseas bases. Obama wants to enlarge the armed services by 90,000. He pledges to escalate the US war in Afghanistan; to attack Pakistan’s sovereign territory if it obstructs any unilateral US mission to kill Osama bin Laden; and to wage a war against terror in a hundred countries, creating for this purpose a new international intelligence and law enforcement “infrastructure” to take down terrorist networks. A fresh start? Where does this differ from Bush’s commitment to Congress on September 20, 2001, to an ongoing “war on terror” against “every terrorist group of global reach” and “any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism”?

Obama’s liberal defenders comfort themselves with the thought that “he had to say that to get elected.” He didn’t. After eight years of Bush, Americans are receptive to reassessing America’s imperial role. Obama has shunned this opportunity.
Whatever drawdown of troops in Iraq that does take place in the event of Obama’s victory will be a brief hiccup amid the blare and thunder of fresh “resolve.” In the event of Obama’s victory, the most immediate consequence overseas will most likely be brusque imperial reassertion. Already Joe Biden, the shopworn poster boy for Israeli intransigence and cold war hysteria, is yelping stridently about the new administration’s “mettle” being tested in the first six months by the Russians and their surrogates.

After eight years of unrelenting assault on constitutional liberties by Bush and Cheney, public and judicial enthusiasm for tyranny has waned. Obama has preferred to stand with Bush and Cheney. In February, seeking a liberal profile in the primaries, Obama stood against warrantless wiretapping. His support for liberty did not survive its second trimester; he aborted it with a vote for warrantless wiretapping. The man who voted to reaffirm the Patriot Act declared that “the ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counterterrorism tool.”

In substantive terms Obama’s run has been the negation of almost every decent progressive principle, a negation achieved with scarcely a bleat of protest from the progressives seeking to hold him to account.

So no, this is not an exciting or liberating moment in America’s politics such as was possible after the Bush years. If you want a memento of what could be exciting, I suggest you go to the website of the Nader-Gonzalez campaign and read its platform, particularly on popular participation and initiative. Or read the portions of Libertarian Bob Barr’s platform on foreign policy and constitutional rights.”

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Edwardo, the Democratic party was much more competitive in national elections before George McGovern ran on a platform that was perceived as weak on communism during the Vietnam War. Ever since, the Republican have been identified as stronger on national defense. So it is wise for Obama to show he can be tough too.

Tom D said...

My take: Obama is silly putty waiting for someone to form him, and they will. He is the black edition of John Kerry, vacuous and suave, a good dresser, knows how to deliver a punch line, but has no punch or history of distinction.

I'd vote for All Allen but I'd worry about his advisers too....LOLOL

Ken said...

Very nicely said, Allan.

T. Drake said...

One last point, Allan.

I voted the first time I could vote for John Kennedy. But as Sen. Lloyd Bentsen said famously and viciously to Sen. Dan Quayle during a debate: "Senator," he said, "I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy."

Nor is Obama.

Edwardo said...

Someone wrote:

"Edwardo, the Democratic party was much more competitive in national elections before George McGovern ran on a platform that was perceived as weak on communism during the Vietnam War. Ever since, the Republican have been identified as stronger on national defense. So it is wise for Obama to show he can be tough too."

There are no Democrats or Republicans, there is just Corp Gov mild (Dem) and Corp Gov spicey Repub. No better evidence of this state of affairs has emerged in the last twenty five years than the passage of the wildly unpopular "No Banker Left Behind" bailout bill.

The surface of McCain and Obama are very different from one another, but their "fundamental differences," which in debate they are so keen to proclaim, amount to one being in favor of serving the nation apple pie and the other preferring to dish out peach cobbler.

I loathe McCain, and Sarah The Whore of Babylon" Palin is positively frightening, but Obama, the would be change agent, who the other day let loose with a revealing Freudian slip, "When I was Bill Clinton"-he meant to say, when I was with
Bill Clinton, will likely be a reprise of BC.

Obama's choice of Joe Biden, the plagiarizing hack from Delaware, was an early indication of this sad outcome. When Jamie Dimon of Citicorp descends to the Treasury to replace Hanky Panky Paulson you will have your proof that the game remains the same. The only good news on the two party duopoly front is that, like so many things in our culture going forward, neither party will likely be the same by the next election. Such are the interesting times we live in. Good Night, and Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Obama is better than Cheney for sure, but if America was ready for real change it would be voting for Nader.

T said...

Every state/national poll shows the odds strongly favor Obama:

If McCain could go against these odds without any unfathomable external event happening that somehow causes people to change their minds, it'd mean that all these polls (and several others) are all dead wrong at the same time in this election.

This could only happen if MASSIVE racism is still alive and well EVERYWHERE in the US, waiting for the right moment to rear its ugly head. This is an unthinkable "IF" in my mind. We all know localized racism still exists, but I doubt it's widespread nationally. I hope I'm right for the sake of our country and our Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous T. Drake said...

One last point, Allan.

I voted the first time I could vote for John Kennedy. But as Sen. Lloyd Bentsen said famously and viciously to Sen. Dan Quayle during a debate: "Senator," he said, "I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy."

Nor is Obama.

and the response was....

'You are right, I am no Jack Kennedy, I am Barack Obama!'

Anonymous said...

Nader yes..too bad he's so kooky and of course having never gotten in bed with other politicos...he is certainly for the people, too bad he'll never get a chance.Obama will be the next.Let's hope he is well protected which in these times is virtually impossible, would be horrible too see him go the way of JFK.God bless and protect him.Gary

in the mountains said...

Well said, Allan.

There are those who say the game will remain the same no matter who wins, and to a large extent that is true. However, that kind of thinking leads to apathy or despair or both in my opinion. Yes, the wheels of government grind slowly. Yes, change will be difficult and will likely take time, maybe a long time. But that's not a reason to argue against a potential leader who promises change.

If we don't like the direction that this country has taken over the last 8 years--or even 8 decades--then vote for the man and the party who best express the new direction you would like the country to take. And then have patience when they take their new offices--don't expect miracle overnight--and support what they attempt to do.

Gerix said...

Anonymous said...
"...if America was ready for real change it would be voting for Nader."

Let's face it... Nader is either not getting his message across, or he's delivering the wrong message given current conditions, or we have no faith in his ability to deliver.

His sponsors and his pit crew consists of a few die-hard supporters who'd back a solar-powered Yugo in a NASCAR race because, reality be damned, they simply think it's the change America needs.

Allan said...

To all: Please read this blog, it's saying much what I wanted to say, only better:

Bill said...

These two quotes show the fundamental difference between JFK and Obama - they are worlds apart...


“ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”


“the Constitution says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.”

Anonymous said...

The only thing that could help McCain win:

t said...

sign of hope:

Anonymous said...

Allan and All,
And this blog says why I'm against Obama better than I could say:

Paste and's quite insightful for thinkers.


Anonymous said...

I vote for Allan Pincus Harris.

For economic reasons alone.

Imagine what he could do with the treasury, deliver a 40% ROE per year?

It boggles the imagination.

Paul in MS

Anonymous said...

One reason above all else to vote for Obama:


They do the country no good except take us into expensive wars for no reason that we lose and drive up the deficits.

Enough said. Obama will win. As I am the best market timer of all time, this one is am easy choice.

Mr. Joshua In Idaho.

Anonymous said...

Wow...Allan you write:

"...It’s been a long time since a politician has impressed me. For the most, they occupy the step on the ladder of morality just below that step reserved for attorneys."

JFK was pretty darn low on the ladder of morality given that he committed adultery numerous times in his marraige, right? Let's see, did JFK showed honesty?, fidelity?, trustworthiness?, honor?, but he sure inspired us with his eloquence. Scary IMO how people get so enthralled with rhetoric and eloquence.

Allan said...

Re: JFK Learn something:

Anonymous said...

when somebody promise "change" in every speech order to be elected. I will never vote for him.Reminds me of other historical figure who promised change to German people.Many economical and social factors are the same now.You people are naive.
The worth thing we need now is socialism and taxes.

Anonymous said...

Obama is a superb speaker, but it does not make him a good president.
Don't forget that he surrounded himself by racists and antisemites for many years (Jeremiah Wright)
He all the time mentions "change", but evasive about how he will provide this change.
There is too much euphoria regarding this man.Reminds me of another historical figure that also promised change.

Anonymous said...

If only all of you felt this opinionated about the stock posts!!

Anonymous said...

Let's elect Mccain/Palin and have another 4 years of the same s..t that we've had to take from B..h!!!Gary

Anonymous said...

your post are sensored by Allan proving, if youy disagree he will not post your post , he is just like the media taht coverd Obama. he should stick to stocks and keep his wrong opinion about politics to himself.

Allan said...

Looks to me like your premise, i.e. "your posts are censored by Allan" is wrong, not only because your post got through, but because about 1/2 of all the Comments on this blog disagree with Allan's original Blog. Either he is not censoring opposing views, or if he is, he's doing a piss poor job at it.


Anonymous said...

Allen, welcome to France!

Your Pal

Anonymous said...

Allan can censor whatever he wants -- it's his blog. But if you haven't noticed his love of truth circumvents his ego.

Anonymous said...


CruiseGuy said...

Allan has always posted comments for and against his posts...he lets time be the judge and a majority of the time he his correct...but like all humans he is correct 100% of the time..

Sover Surfer said...

Yes we can and Yes we did, end of Story, Time for a new Age

ken said...

Yes, Allan, we witnessed history last night: the world's election. Abraham Lincoln himself would have been very proud.

The world cheered:

Anonymous said...

Ahh, you Americans with your endless elections.

We free Greeks put our faith in the Gods, who serve forever and are never "lame ducks."

I've been shorting following Allan's advice and have made some big cash, but unless Allan himself serves in the cabinet of the new American President's administration, I'll continue to look to Olympus for advice.

I've also been modestly buying NNVC at these lower prices.

The Gods never "bicker".

Southern Greece