Friday, July 18, 2008

The "Unconventional" Candidate

Barack Obama, while having a liberal voting record, is known to work alongside, and be respected by, his republican colleagues.

Indeed, it is hard to paint Obama with the broad strokes of "liberalism" and "conservatism." I believe the reason for this has much to do with how our traditional notions "left" and "right" are in a state of transformation.

Obama is perhaps the first major candidate to come out of a "post framing" progressive movement. Traditional liberal ideas are presented differently than in the past, and communicated with a sensitivity toward voters with both conservative and liberal values.

(for anyone interested in the recent history behind all this, please check out Rockridge Institute: LINK )

Obama is also unconventional because of his family values, which are indeed more conservative than previous Democrat candidates.

Furthermore, Obama has an established track record of working *with* conservatives across the aisle in order to accomplish common goals. Bill Dickson's recent post about the "Accidental Surrogate" is very informative in this respect: LINK

Also, Obama's passing of historic civil rights legislation while an Illinois Senator is the perfect example of how he works with both sides, to accomplish traditionally progressive goals. In the case of the civil rights legislation, his bill was passed unanimously among both Democrats and Republicans. Since then, his legislation has been adopted in 4 different states.

That is really unprecedented! Remember folks, this guy has 12 years legislative experience under his belt, and is also an expert on Constitutional Law. He was president of the Harvard Law review for gosh-sakes! This is a very accomplished and intelligent person with a track record of getting things done and working with very diverse groups of people.

His track record backs up his words about how he will bring these same changes to Washington.

(boy, am i tired of people saying he has not track record of working across the aisle!)

So what does that mean for those of us who are hardcore liberals? (and being formerly registered as Green, I count myself in that group) It means we are going to have to do two things in order to act in the spirit of change Obama is talking about: We as liberals are going to have to acknowledge that we haven't always been 100% right about everything (LOL, that can be hard to do), and we are also going to have to be willing to compromise a bit and give some space to our conservative brethren so they can at least participate in the debate.

That's my thought for the day about Obama and how he seems to be tacking to what people describe as "the center."

Peace, and thanks for all that you do.

D. tree

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