Channeling My Inner Relationship Guru for the Good of the Country

In an effort to understand why anyone would support Obama, I put my trust in Google, entered the quoted phrase "why should I vote for Obama" and clicked the "I feel lucky" button. Google rewarded me with an obamapedia.org page entitled "Why Should I Vote for Obama in 2008?". Amazing, isn't it?

My theory was that although conservatives have amassed many valid reasons for the case against Obama, perhaps they did not refute the specific reasons for supporting Obama and therefore their reasons were being ignored or discounted. I thought if I, or rather Google, could find definitive arguments that support electing Obama, those arguments could then be deconstructed. I thought, perhaps, in rational, logical fashion I could step through the case for Obama, refute or confirm the claims and prove the opposite case in terms that Obama supporters might be willing to accept.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any logic.

I don't understand how 'hope' and 'unity' and 'charisma' and 'salesmanship' translate into "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" or being Commander-in-Chief. I kept turning up the sound as I was reading the page because I could have sworn I heard Kum Ba Yah playing in the background. Geez. That's the best Google could do? Why bother making a logical, rational case to someone who is obviously more concerned with perception than reality?

  • "Obama ... has a history of working across the aisle and listening to opposing viewpoints [ed.: when?], and is stressing a united America [ed.: strike the 'a united' part] within his campaign."
  • "If he was elected, Obama would do a better job [ed.: objection. speculation] of not only passing the necessary legislation [ed.: define 'necessary'] by incorporating other peoples points of view [ed.: he's a 98% Democrat voter historically so as long as those people are Democrats, sure!], but also persuading the American people that he is acting in their interest. [ed.: note that 'persuading' is more important than 'actually working' in the people's interest]"
  • "He makes the country feel hope [ed.: as in 'everybody felt Hope, so Hope got mad and left the party'?] and want to move forward and be a better country [ed.: because we just suck right now]."
  • "I support Barack Obama because, after reading both his books, I believe him to be the kind of leader America needs now."*
Do any of these statements sound like they are based in reality?

The only thing I can think of that might allow me to communicate effectively with an Obama supporter is to channel my inner relationship guru (I've been to California so I'm qualified) and try to explain why an Obama presidency will not be "healthy".

Dear Obama supporter,

Look, I'm sorry, I know you didn't ask for any relationship advice, but you are a good and beautiful person, and you deserve the truth. It may be painful right now, but in the long run you will appreciate my honesty and perhaps this will help you to move on to a healthy, and more mature, relationship.

You shouldn't get involved with someone with the 'hope' that they will change! You know that doesn't work. You either love them for who they are or spend the rest of the relationship trying to make them into what you want them to be. Honestly, and I know you don't want to believe me, but honestly, he's not who you think he is. If you're truthful with yourself and open your eyes you can see that I'm right.

Don't believe me? Think about this. He had a twenty year relationship, a close, deeply spiritual relationship, and he threw it all away; he just up and walked out because it was no longer convenient! Not only that, apparently, he never actively listened to what his partner in that relationship was saying! Is that the sort of man you can count on?

And that's not the only relationship he's distanced himself from, either. You know what I'm talking about. I don't want to get into all the dirty details, but speaking of details, don't you get the feeling he's hiding something ... like he hasn't been completely honest? What about those years at Columbia? And what's the deal with his cousin, Odinga? And has there ever been another editor of the Harvard Law Review who didn't publish something in it? It could all be innocent coincidence, but it just feels wrong, doesn't it?

And his grandmother ... look how he treats his grandmother! My mother always told me that you can tell a lot about a man by how he treats the woman who raised him. Here this woman gave him everything, and he paints her as a racist. Where's the loyalty in that?

I know, I know. Believe me, I've been there. We've ALL been there. At first they're all charming and attractive and bright and clean. He says all the right things, promises to spend a lot of money on you and take care of you forever. You're actually proud to show him off to your friends in Europe and the Middle East, right? It shows what an open minded and progressive person you are, doesn't it? Nothing wrong with that, nothing at all! It seems perfect, and then bang, something happens.

What happens when things get tough. Someone says he's a socialist or a radical or even a marxist! Will you defend him? Or will you ignore or deny it because it's a little too close to the truth? Oh sure, he sounds like a moderate, but when you listen closely, when you really listen, what do hear? ... taxing is about "fairness" ... he wants to "spread the wealth"... the union card check 'promotes' freedom of choice, yeah, right. You know the truth, but can you admit it?

What happens when your neighbors start to take advantage of his good nature? Will he defend you? Or will he do whatever it takes to make them happy and keep the peace? Close friends of his are guaranteeing that there will be a dangerous crisis in the first year of this relationship. Does that make you feel safe? Do you trust him not to throw you under the bus with his grandmother?

There's something else your mother probably told you that you should remember ... when you commit to the man, you commit to his family, too. Can you get along with the in-laws? You know how shrill Pelosi can get; how long can you tolerate that? What about Dodd and Frank, the drunk uncles, constantly blustering about how smart they are and what brilliant business moves they've made, and then you find out the business went broke so there's no more Christmas bonus from Aunt Fannie and Uncle Freddie to fund the next campaign. And what about Harry Reid? He's family loyal to a fault (seriously), but dumb as a box of rocks.

And don't make me remind you about the foreign relations. Has he even told you about his brother back in Kenya? And trust me, you don't want cousin Odinga over for Thanksgiving. There's some unpleasantness there, something about Muslims slaughtering Christians for political purposes, but never mind that. I'm just saying, you need to consider those potential family issues, too!

And although you have to live with your family, you get to pick your friends, so you can learn a lot about a person by their friendships. Oh, sorry, you told me you don't want to talk about Tony or Rashid or Saul or Frank or Klonsky, didn't you?

Anyway, it's an important decision, and I'm sure you are getting conflicting opinions. Chris and Keith are practically in a tingly swoon in anticipation of the consumation. And you get so much affirmation from Oprah and Whoopi and those highly esteemed folks at the New York Times it's got to be hard to quiet your emotions and think rationally and carefully about the future. But you need to try.

I know you've heard the "he's a socialist!" rumors already. And surely he's completely discussed his past relationships with you by now ... he has hasn't he? And the family stuff? You're comfortable with that? With putting up with his family for the next four years? Ok, ok ... I'm sorry. I'll back off. I know that when someone pushes you too hard to get out of a relationship it makes you want to cling to it even more. Oops. Sorry again. I forgot that "clinging" brings up bad memories in the relationship.

As I said in the beginning, I know you didn't ask for any advice, but as someone who cares about you, I felt I should say something before this thing goes too far. Let me be completely honest ... I don't think this would be a healthy relationship.

I've given you a lot to think about, and I'm sorry if this has sounded hyper-critical of the person you have committed to, but I'd like to leave you with one final thought. Way back at the beginning I mentioned that you shouldn't commit to someone who you hope will change. Instead, you should really get to know someone and then love them for who they are ... that's the only way to ensure mutual respect and trust and faith in your partner. Know them first, and put your trust in them only if they've proven themselves worthy because it's faith and faithfulness, not hope, that can support a healthy relationship.

You're a good and beautiful person. You deserve a healthy relationship.

With love and peace and unity,
(and just a pinch of charisma)

The Inner Relationship Guru

* This is probably not a person who wants to hear about Jack Cashill's theory.

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