When discussing the Democratic presidential hopefuls, my mom pointed out that Obama, as a Democratic senator of Illinois, is a Chicago politician. Chicago is not known for its squeaky-clean political class. Thus, while it may not be apparent from his platform, there is a perfectly good chance that he owes somebody big time for his meteoric rise to contention. (Whereas we already know of many of Clinton's liabilities and special interests. To quote Rumsfeld, "There are known knowns, and known unknowns...")
This is, of course, a risk you take with any politician, whether they hail from Chicago or not. But I am willing to take that risk with Obama, and consider him, of the two, the actual candidate of change. And here is why.
Eight years ago, I took Government and watched my teacher bounce off the walls when the election was too close to call and a court called it. I have spent the entirety of my politically-aware life being horrified by my government and disgusted with the opposition party, which by rights ought to be mine. Wars plural. Poverty. Katrina. The Constitution eviscerated. Financiers run amok. Police brutality. The Moral Majority. Ridiculous debt levels. Broken trade policy. The military-industrial complex on crack. Etcetera. During these eight years, my political beliefs have settled into a odd equilibrium: half liberal, half libertarian.
Believe me, given the events of the last eight years, I am more than prepared to be disappointed. Perhaps it is true that nothing in our political system really works, that both parties represent pigs at the trough, and that smaller government is the least bad option. Perhaps I will be a full libertarian by the time I'm thirty.
But first I want my chance to believe in DC. I want a chance to be proud of my government, my president, and my country. I've only followed politics for eight years--I've never had that.
I'm willing to give the Democratic Party its chance to look in its pants, find its balls, and lead this damn country. (So to speak.) More than just changing the name of the party in power, though, I am willing to believe that there is a candidate who will revolutionize the face of American politics and take us out of this era of insanity.
I'm giving America one chance. And I think Obama has the best shot of making good on it.
P.S. In a move of epic hilarity, Ann Coulter endorsed Clinton over McCain. More food for thought.