As promised, the following is Joshua Anderts response to Joel Steins Hes Got Obamaphilia. Joshua is a 21-year-old student at University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. You might want to view my previous post, Obamaration Gap, before reading Joshuas response.
"Joel Stein is a horrible human-being. This is not the first article/ opinion I have read by him. His articles are all about bashing people who believe in something, who hope that they can make a difference by doing something. Frankly, I am sick and f**king tired of listening to these urban hipsters displace their own internal angst and anguish on to people who do something because they are trying to make sense of themselves, lead a positive life, and make a difference. This man offers nothing but bitter cynicism and ironically enough misses the point of Barack Obamas message of hope. The words yes we can do not imply I can, or Obama can. Rather they refer to the fact that Obama inspires people to believe that they themselves, particularly as a community, can make a difference in their own lives. Something people like Joel Stein, who are too caught up in whining about the misery of their middle class upbringing, divorced parents, and world of misunderstanding, are too ignorant, blind, and hateful to see.
And yes, Obama is a politician. He is seeking election. Yet in the process, he is seeking to change the process. Obama is not an establishment candidate. He does not have an ironclad point by point policy for every issue. Yet, who, may I ask, ever successfully integrated their policies after election in a divided country? Rather, Obama is a politician with another goal, and he is pragmatic with this goal. He is smart, and he doesnt take risky position because he knows that will not effect change. His goal: get Americans to stand up, stop their bitching, and do something.
It is not creepy that people care about something. It is not creepy that someone is moved to tears by a speech. What is creepy is a man who thinks he is so intelligent, so enlightened, and so educated that he is disgusted by people who come together to try and make a difference. Actually, its not creepy. Its sad. Joel Stein must be a miserably sad person deep in his heart. In my humble opinion he is no better than people such as Jerry Falwell or Rush Limbaugh. How can anything positive ever happen in this world if people are so malcontent, miserable, and sad to ridicule and hate other people who actually believe in hope.
Life does not have to be about hate, misery, and sadness. You do not have to resist saying words like possibility, change, hope, love, or inspiration. Everyone at some point in their life must make a choice. They must choose to lead a positive life attempting to make peace with themselves, be happy, and make a difference. Or they must choose to remain lost, sad, and confused defending themselves and their poor choices by making fun of others who try to figure out their own lives. It is obvious to me what Joel Stein has chosen.
Obama is INSPIRING because he offers the HOPE that someday Americans can pick themselves up from their self-depressed lives and make a difference in not just the country but their own worlds. No one should EVER feel embarrassed about hoping for and being inspired to lead a better life.
I write this not out of any particular defense of Obama or the people who believe in him (and consequently themselves). Rather, I write this because for the first time in my 21, almost 22 years, of life I see people being inspired and hoping for something. This trend, in my opinion, is not just political. It is not just tied to Obama (in fact Huckabee inspires many, many people as well). Rather, it is a cultural feeling and cultural trend that has not existed in this country for a long, long time. People dont know how to react to it, especially hate-mongers like Joel Stein. If you are threatened and embarassed by a message of hope and inspiration you should ask yourself why? Do you fear what this inspiration and hope means? Are you too sad and miserable to have a chance at feeling hope or inspiration? If so, I believe you should look at yourself rather than laughing at and bashing other people."