Monday, June 23, 2008

Campaign financing and Barack's decision

I admit, I was disappointed when I received the email from the Obama campaign that said Barack Obama had decided to opt out of the public funding. I suppose I don't want to hear that Barack is just like any other politician. I want him to be different. Yet, this felt very much like a political move.

Not too long ago, Obama advocated for a fair and equal system of funding and agreed to sit down with and work on equal terms with McCain. His email video, in my opinion, was a lame attempt to explain to his supporters that the system is broken and he is working to rise above it. Instead, it seemed like a typical politician's message to try to pull the wool over our eyes once he realized and had confidence that he could raise much more money using his own supporters and funding base.

Personally, I don't mind if people come to new understandings and "flip-flop." I actually applaud that because it tells me they are listening and learning instead of remaining unmoveable in their thoughts and ideas. However, what I don't like is when people agree with something until they find it's more politically/financially beneficial to believe something else. And that's what I felt like Obama did.

But allow me to challenge my own beliefs in a way that might be somewhat politically incorrect.

As I watched Bill Moyers preview an upcoming P.O.V. segment, Traces of the Trade, I was reminded of how much our country has benefited throughout the years, without remorse or apology, from our slave system. That wheel continues to turn and we continue to benefit even without the slave system currently in place.

Of course the wealth that accumulated over the years allowed people much clout. As we can still see today, wealthy people still run for office, sometimes funding their own campaign. And, let's be honest, few people of color have had the deep pockets and bottomless pit of economic resources to make their campaign viable.

Perhaps I am making concessions for a man who I really think would make a good president. Don't get me wrong. I'm still irritated that Barack seems to be going back on some of the things he was so adamant about. I'm also a little irritated that his campaign speakers are trying to convince us that *all* of his donors are small donors. I would much rather them tell the truth and say that 50% are small donors, but there are some big donors as well. I would like to think we can handle the truth...and I would like to think they would treat us as if we could.

On the other hand, I recognize that Barack Obama has a huge battle and long road ahead of him. His battle is fraught with race issues as well as so many of the other, usual issues a presidential candidate faces. So, I have to say if Barack, has the money and the following to do it, he should go ahead. A Black man with enough political clout, personality, and economic resources is unprecented. I can't fault him for wanting to use every resource he has earned along the way.
Post a Comment