posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 01:14 AM
The Congressman from our district voted against all the bailouts because his constituents were mostly against them and he was up for re-election in
November. I don't know what he actually thinks about them. In my opinion he votes wrongly many times but I think he sees it as representing his
district. I'm not sure what you mean by "real politicians," but I guess I would call him one. Politicians are, well, political in their
behavior, and he goes where the votes are.
Candidates for the presidency often promise to do much for people and may very well intend to at the time. When they actually get into office and get
daily briefs on subjects like military intelligence they may well change their minds as a result of the new knowledge. Then they have to find ways to
get their plans through Congress. Especially if the majority of Congress is of the other party, that usually takes compromise and deal-making, and
often a president cannot achieve their true goals.
Of course, ideology plays a large part in shaping what a politician hopes or wants to do. Ideology defines much of human behavior. We all have
ideologies, although most of us think we don't. We see our own ideology as truth and reason. When I pick someone to vote for, their ideology is
important to me. I tend to pick people I most agree with.
If a candidate has an ideology (or no ideology except his own advantage) which he knows is unpopular or would turn a lot of people off he or she will
often equivocate about it, or even disguise it at times.
I've read up a bit on both liberal and conservative thought and I find some compelling arguments in both. I tend to lean in the liberal direction on
many issues, but on others I may be less so. IMO, neither Bush nor McCain are "true" conservatives to those who consider themselves as such.
Obama, on the other hand, is very much a "true" liberal in the tradition of FDR, Truman, JFK etc. He is at present outlining an economic course
which is very reminiscent of Roosevelt's administration during the Great Depression. I agree with you that he most likely has read Marx and Engels
and knows very well what socialism entails but is evidently not a socialist (he taught law at the University of Chicago and, interestingly, a course
on Constitutional law).
I personally did not find Obama the least bit vague in his goals and plans for the presidency when he was running for election. Again, I recognize
the outlines of the liberal philosphy (see Paul Krugman's "The Conscience Of A Liberal") very clearly in his ideas and rhetoric. Far from
disappointing me, in the few short weeks since his election he is already outlining his plans to accomplish almost everything he promised. The nature
of our system of checks and balances being what it is, he will not be able to do everything he wants to, or at least not in the time he would like,
but his intention is to do as much as he humanly can. The only thing he might be wavering on is his timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, and
that is possibly the result of his consulting with top-level military and diplomatic sources. It also looks like he might have to put his health care
reform on the back burner for awhile. But to me, Obama has exceeded any other president I have known in fulfilling his own promises, or trying to.
I think you're right in saying Paul and Kucinich are not deceptive in their tactics--I think they really believe everything they say they do. They
do not have the polish and charm of Obama, but they are sincere.
To me, Obama is an open book. He doesn't seem to be equivocating very much at all. He is, of course, trying to reconcile many different factions,
but he has promised to reach across the aisle and to weigh all sides and his choices for his administration show it. I think he is responsible to
those who elected him and those who didn't both. That's not an easy job.