We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Obama is also emerging as a more eloquent version of four recent Democratic presidential candidates—Mondale (1984), Dukakis (1988), Gore (2000), and Kerry (2004)—all of whom polled well early in their campaigns but faltered as they failed to understand and convey the truth that the United States is a country founded on ideals rather than tribal ethnicity or simple economic interests.
That idealism moves some millionaires to vote Democratic for environmental reasons and some poor folks to vote Republican for pro-life reasons. And those voters who do put economics first often think long-term. William McKinley beat William Jennings Bryan in 1896 and 1900 because many workers cared more about opportunity for their children than maximization of current income. George McGovern in 1972 was surprised to find the working poor opposing his guaranteed income proposal because they saw themselves as upwardly mobile and wanted others to compete as well.
Many academic liberals see themselves as eminently rational and others as warped or dumb. Some conservatives readily grasp the importance of worldviews because, surrounded as they are by generally hostile big media, they come to see how people look at the same facts and come to different conclusions. Many liberals aren't forced daily to think presuppositionally, so it's easy for them to view dissenters as psychologically or intellectually inferior.
Politics sucks, but Socialism doesn't quite make it in the Land of Opportunity. Almost, I am sorry to say, but not quite. You can go to other countries if that is what you want. Sweden or England. Not China. Vive la difference. Except for the slackers who want freebies, people who come here to the USA want the opportunity, not the hand-outs. If America doesn't stand for individual freedom and the opportunity to pursue your own goals and values and to stand on your own two legs, it stands for nothing at all. It works pretty well, too, if you are willing to take your lumps along with your chances.
American ideals, perhaps, are not for everybody, and yet we take darn good care of those who stumble, run into bad luck, or cannot handle it. Charity, via government and via private charities. We are generous as heck here, thanks to our Christian values. Love to help folks, but do not enjoy doing so at gunpoint. That doesn't count as virtue - and taking care of our own families comes first. As it should, for adult humans.
Figuring out your own path through life is the blessing of freedom.
Couldn't agree more! Just a minor quibble with Marvin's characterization of Obama as "eloquent". JFK was eloquent; Obama is just slick. I don't know who was the first to award the praise of eloquence to Obama, but (s)he needs to get out more.