Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Where's our Obama?

Call me an idealistic fool, but I am in awe of Barack Obama. The man is magnetic, almost hypnotic, in a way I imagine Jesus was, drawing people to him and moving them with the power of his message-- an eloquent speaker exuding sincerity and integrity, and inspiring trust, courage, and hope. While the cynic in me is inclined to think Obama is too good to be true, that he's all bark and no bite, I cannot help but be captivated by the man, or at least the idea of the man as he is presented: an intelligent, compassionate, principled public servant who fights for his convictions, puts the welfare of his people above all else, and leads by his sterling example.

I find the appeal of Obama even more compelling now that our own nation is currently in the grips of yet another political and moral crisis. Watching the ongoing Senate inquiry of the anomaly-infested ZTE NBN deal, my stomach turns in sheer revulsion at all the blatant lies, pathetic cover-ups and malicious machinations coming from the pawns and puppets of the Arroyo administration. It makes my blood boil the way they are shamelessly, persistently deceiving the Filipino people, whom they have already robbed of Lord knows how many billions of pesos. It leaves me cold that I am not even shocked at the staggering extent of corruption and injustice being perpetrated by the leaders of our land. And it breaks my heart that there seems to be no one left in our government whom we can count on to set things right. No cries of "yes, we can" to be heard here. No glimpse of "change we can believe in".

I envy America for having an Obama. Sure, he's no saint, and for all I know he may turn out to be a worse president than Bush (although I seriously doubt anyone can screw up more than that idiot). But that he's able to evoke such a strong renewed spirit of optimism, patriotism, and solidarity in his followers says something about the kind of leader he already is, and says a lot about the kind of leader he could become. And we desperately need someone like that here in the Philippines. We've already lost our passion for "People Power", our sense of moral outrage is numb or close to dead, and militants can't even plan a decent coup anymore. We have whistle-blowers and windmill-tilters, but no real heroes. An Obama could galvanize our apathetic asses to do something, to stand up for what's right and to help our country out of the horrific morass it's in. An Obama could give us the motivation and direction we sorely lack. An Obama could save us.

Barack Obama can't walk on water, or cure the sick, or raise the dead. And perhaps the messiah magic about him is nothing more than an illusion conjured by competent campaign managers and smart spin-masters. But though it remains to be seen whether or not he can actually perform miracles, for now, Obama can make others believe in miracles-- he can make others WANT to believe in miracles-- and he can make them remember what is good and pure and true and worth defending, worth working for, and worth fighting for, if not dying for. And maybe that's how we start curing a sick nation like ours.


At Monday, February 18, 2008, Anonymous Mark said...

I totally agree.
I wish we have an Obama somewhere...
(Jun Lozada, is that you?)

At Monday, February 18, 2008, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

With all due respect to Jun Lozada, I don't think he's an Obama, but I do commend Mr. Lozada for having the courage and fortitude to speak the truth and testify against the corrupt administration of GMA. If there were more people like Lozada in government, then perhaps we wouldn't need an Obama to save our nation.


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