Eshawn Rawlley: I don’t drink and vote

Correction appended

Last week, Andrew Clark asked “Are we hung over from Obama-mania yet?” I’m not sure what other contributors to this page may be drinking, but I must say I don’t remember ever being drunk.

It seems some individuals will deny the fact that the election of a person whose campaign gave hope to millions could cause such a euphoric (not “drunken”) ruckus as the one witnessed last November on this campus. While I, for one, felt an overwhelming sensation of patriotic pride while belting “The Star-Spangled Banner” outside the White House with my fellow citizens, I guess such revelry doesn’t sit well with some people who would much rather stay in their residence hall rooms brooding over their defeat, hatching plans to bring down Obama.

The clear-eyed, level-headed Republicans who warned us all of our impending doom at the hands of Obama now claim that America is “waking up” from the trance-like stupor Barack the Magician hypnotized us into last summer. But remember what happened when the previous president’s numbers began to slip as he started making tough choices with big consequences? He was proudly hailed as The Decider, a man who was uninterested in his popularity but rather in doing what was necessary and right to strengthen America. Today, those same heroic defenders point to this president’s approval numbers as an unmistakable sign that the country is finally getting over the “hysteria” of “Obama-mania.”

And while most of us are too young to remember, a quick study of political history will remind us that when two Republican presidents won the youth vote resoundingly in the 1980s, young voters were considered savvy, intelligent and energetic by the same people who mock, insult and dismiss our generation’s political motivations today.

These same sages exercised such admirable caution in their unappeasable opposition to the economic stimulus package, which they consider a failed initiative that has had a “negligible” impact on the economy. But as the Wall Street Journal and others have recently reported, the stimulus money spent so far has actually helped stabilize the economy, and the promise of more funding may spur two to three percentage points of economic growth over the next year. The truth is that Republicans bet that this plan would fail, and they lost; as the economy continues to recover, their supposedly sensible “nay” votes ring hollow.

Conservatives have also highlighted the apparent hypocrisy of a once “anti-war” candidate re-engaging the fight in Afghanistan. But what they fail to remember is that this president did not run an anti-war campaign. Barack Obama opposed the misguided war in Iraq and promised to responsibly reduce combat forces in that country while simultaneously recommitting troops to the “war of necessity” in Afghanistan. We “anti-war liberals” didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he was anti-war, but rather because he was anti-the-wrong-war. We voted for him because, in his opposition to the wrong war, he demonstrated sound and wise judgment.

Those who understood candidate Obama and his positions still strongly support President Obama and his decisions. I don’t feel duped or cheated, and if I ever feel hung over it’s likely due to my choice of beverages, not political candidates. Some say it’s the spiked Obama-Aid talking, but I hate to break this to them: my support and continued support of this president was, and still, is stone-cold sober.

The writer, a senior majoring in political science, is president of The GW Enosinian Society and a member of the College Democrats.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: (Sept. 9, 2009)
The Hatchet misspelled the name of writer Eshawn Rawlley’s organization, the Enosinian Society, as The Enosian Society.

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