Student Voice


June 22, 2024


Obama’s hopes appear intangible

March 12, 2008

What is the deal with Barak Obama? He is politically inexperienced, has plans which can potentially devastate the U.S. economy and he is getting votes by the millions.

How can a candidate preaching mainly change sweep across America like a California forest fire?

America’s youth are turning out by the millions to caste their ballot for the young charismatic Illinois Senator. Is Obama a U.S. Presidential candidate or a rock star? It’s even hard for me to tell.

Personally, I believe in the ideological aspects of many of Obama’s plans. I agree that the war in Iraq was an initial mistake; I believe that healthcare should be considered more of a right than a privilege; I believe that civil rights, poverty and education are all issues which need to be addressed.

This is the idealist inside of me believing this. The realist in me is in utter disbelief. Many of the issues which are affecting the nation now are not going to be solved by a quick fix.

The economy cannot be jumpstarted by a tax cut that will benefit 95 percent of Americans; a withdrawal of American forces in Iraq will not solve security issues in the Middle East.

Universal healthcare is a dream of mine but its not very realistic, at least not at this time.

I believe in 90% of what Obama says in his campaign. On face value, I think most Americans would agree with what Obama has laid out as his goals for a new America. It just isn’t feasible to pull all of that off. They require too much money for our week economy.

There is something less tangible, which Obama has been advocating, change. Regardless of the outcome of the Democratic primary or the November Presidential election, change will occur. Things will be different. What Obama advocates is hope and Americans are buying it by the gallon. At his rallies across the country, people are moved to tears over his message of hope and change.

As a political science major I’ve studied historical political campaigns; I’ve never seen a campaign run so successfully with such an intangible message.

Obama shows an interesting trend in American politics. Caring less for the meat of the campaign platform and more for the image of the candidate, Americans are buying into the person more than the issues.

I myself have bought into the Obama campaign. However, I fear many people haven’t done their homework, me included. A vote for a candidate should be about the candidate’s policy, not the image he or she represents.

Voting is a tricky situation to be in. While I agree with Obama on an idealist level, the world in reality is a much different place, what can I do when my candidate of choice does appeal my realist side?

Realistically, no candidate will have a perfect solution to the problems which are affecting all of us. The ballots have already been caste for Minnesota and Wisconsin primaries but it’s not too late to become informed.

Support someone whom you agree and feel comfortable voting for; don’t buy into all the hype over someone.

Remember, it’s the issues that matter, not the image. While I will still continue to support Obama I will do so with my realist side of my brain kicking itself.

Joe Eggers is a fifth year senior from Appleton, Wis. He is a political science and international studies major. He has been involved in several activities on campus, including a stint as last year's Student Senate president.