Are YOU paying attention to this election? Have YOU heard what Barack Obama has to offer?
If you listen to Obama, this election is the biggest ego boost ever to hit American politics. Like best sellers "You: The Owner's Manual," "You: On a Diet," and "You: Staying Young," this presidential campaign season is all about YOU.
It's hard not to see the attraction. Obama talks about hope and change. Who is against hope and change? You? Not me.
YOU can have hope and change if you have the audacity to follow this bright, handsome, dynamic speaker's lead. Obama says, "There's a moment in the life of every generation when that spirit has to come through, if we are to make our mark on history, and this is our moment. This is our time." All you have to do is vote for this great guy with the great-looking family!
YOU have the power to initiate hope and change. The alternative, he says, is dire. It's 100 years of war in Iraq. It's decidedly not change. And frankly, it's old versus young. It's yesterday versus tomorrow.
If Obama winds up defeating the formerly inevitable Hillary Clinton to secure the Democratic nomination, his talk of "you" could be the death knell for Republicans in 2008. Obama seems to have a dog whistle for we conservatives who have not been enthusiastic about John McCain, who during the primaries famously contrasted himself with former businessman Mitt Romney by announcing "I led for patriotism, not for profit." (What exactly is wrong with being successful in business, senator?) Then, at a recent rally I attended at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, Obama announced, "I love the free market" and "I love capitalism." Hope, change and an end to class warfare? It's as if he's saying, "Hey, YOU, right-winger, you too can have hope and can change the world!"
However, if we just look beyond the attractive Obama package and ourselves for a moment, we might remember that the election is about actual issues. What are we hoping for? What is the "change" that the pro-Obama Kennedys are so excited about?
The fresh, young face of Obama represents change, yes. But he also represents something very familiar: liberalism. Government as a permanent, inefficient, out-of-control crutch. Never mind the support of Edward Kennedy, who for many is the face of liberalism in America; Obama himself is the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate.