BSW welcomes Andrew Wilhelm, who will be writing about issues related to culture, politics, and economics (and everything else you need to know about life from a college guy).
By Andrew J. Wilhelm Barack Obama, the electrifying, charismatic, charming young politician. Barack Obama, the breath of fresh air, the suave law professor, the speaker of the decade. Barack Obama, just what this country needs.
That is what we’ve been hearing all along, isn’t it? Ask the typical teenager or twenty-something and they’ll give you a description very similar to the one above. What draws people our age to Senator Obama? Why does practically everyone under the age of thirty seem unified in the belief that Barack Obama should (and will) be the next President of the United States?
It is important to first discuss what draws young voters to the Democrat Party in the first place. Why don’t we see such a rousing reaction among young voters for the GOP? Well, college students are used to change; change is all we know. Therefore, when someone speaks of change, we listen. Even if it’s not broken, we are more than willing to fix it.
Democrats also are the champion of the “little people.” They promise that the government will make everyone’s troubles go away and that we will live in peaceful harmony as long as we take money away from those mean old men at the oil companies and give it to those who really need it. Sounds great to a poor college student or recent graduate.
Finally, young people like Democrats because they proclaim that morality is too relative to really get in a huff about. No kid likes when his parents make rules–the same goes for the government. Who is the government to tell me if I can be gay and married, if I have to listen to that horribly offensive prayer at a graduation ceremony, or what I can do with my body (for example, “terminate my pregnancy”)? If you want complete moral relativism – and young people usually do – then visit your friends at the local Democrat Party Headquarters.
The first, most obvious reason anyone would vote for Obama is that he is black. In such a multicultural, pluralistic generation, young people make every effort to appear as diverse and tolerant as possible. One of my favorite blogs, Stuff White People Like, put it this way: “Since we are on the verge of electing a black president, it seems important to explain why white people want black friends. Every white person wants a black friend like Barack: good-looking, well-spoken, and non-violent. Obviously, whites want black friends so as not to appear racist.”
Ask anyone on the street why they would vote for Obama, and if you’re lucky, they will give you some feedback regarding his policy decisions. No matter how educated about the issues, the line, “We are long overdue for a black president” will usually arise at some point. Ah, how tolerant. Don’t get me wrong; I am far from racist. I voted for a black man for governor of my home state of Ohio (Ken Blackwell) and I would love for McCain to pick Condi Rice as his VP. The true racists are those who vote for (or against) a candidate based at least in part on the color of his or her skin.
Secondly, young people like young people. Duh. It just isn’t cool to have a 71-year-old running the country. It is much more hip to have a 47-year-old with a great jaw structure and shiny white teeth. Surely Obama knows the needs of our generation better than McCain or Hillary, who both probably still don’t know how to work an iPod.
Lastly, Obama is a great speaker with utopian ideas. Being surrounded by great speakers in high school and college, young people love good rhetoric. They love to be told that they can do anything as long as they are given the opportunity; they love to be told that it’s not their fault they are in a bad situation; they love to be told that they can be better off without working any harder. And that is exactly what Barack Obama preaches. (We don’t have time to discuss what his pastor preaches). Young people want people to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Sorry, McCain and Hillary just aren’t warm and fuzzy people.
In the end, the reality remains that Obama has been rated as the most liberal senator in office. He favors abortion, gun control, trade restrictions, higher taxes for anyone making over $30,000, huge expansions in health care that will drain our budget while decreasing quality, and some kind of foreign policy change.
Wait, exactly how much foreign policy experience does he have?
Look past the charisma and youth appeal of this man and see him for what he really is–a stereotypical liberal democrat. Vote for the person you think will benefit this country the most, not the one who would make this country “cool” again.
Andrew Wilhelm a sophomore at Wheaton College majoring in political science with a minor in economics. His two main passions are playing piano and golf. He also enjoys learning about and analyzing trends in culture, economics, and politics.