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Obama in the Middle July 10, 2008

Posted by joshuachayne in politics, Uncategorized.
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Obama supporters should not be shocked that he has been at least perceived to be pivoting towards centrist positions. That is the norm in campaign politics. Politicians play to their base during the primary and then move toward the center, arguably where most Americans are, for the general election.

Finally democrats are catching on that they can reach out to evangelicals and speak the language of faith too. It is usually the republicans who are more comfortable talking about faith but that has changed with this election. John McCain is not very open about his spiritual beliefs and doesn’t seem at ease when discussing religion. Obama, on the other hand, sometimes sounds like a preacher when he is giving a powerful speech. Its no question that Obama is an impressive orator but he also seems to have an intuitive understanding of the evangelical community even though his view of Christianity is more liberal than many of theirs.

Kerry made a big mistake in not courting evangelicals so it is nice seeing Obama reaching out to them. Obama says he will support an expansion of Bush’s faith based initiatives. He has also met with a group of evangelical leaders. However, Obama will have to do more than talk faith to convince those who disagree with his views on abortion and gay rights to vote for him. I believe that Obama should let them know that his inclusive beliefs come from or at least are compatible with his Christian faith.

Some of Obama’s more left leaning supporters also worry about his position on FISA which is going to allow telecommunications companies to have immunity from being held accountable for spying on americans. Obama also supports gun rights with some regulation and has said that mental illness should not be used to justify late term abortions. Obama also seems to support the death penalty in the case of brutal crimes against children.

Again, I don’t think that Obama supporters should be surprised. Yes, he is a liberal and a progressive, but he shouldn’t be expected to be an automaton that always keeps in step with the party line. After all there is much variation within the democratic party and within the liberal and progressive traditions as well. Most of us probably have a mix of liberal and conservative views.

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