Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

Listening

It felt like Father's Day at the Bailey house today. This morning, Lori, Ben and I watched Barack Obama on Meet the Press, then we watched a wonderful episode of West Wing tonight.

Ben has always had some interest in politics, at least during presidential elections, when it starts to dominate our house a little like this blog. We've enjoyed a few election nights together as he's been spoiled by two suspenseful elections.

Now that he's almost a teenager, we've shared a lot more of the campaign with him, including parts of some debates, a few dinner table conversations, a couple of West Wing episodes, and a Sunday interview here and there. He always very nice to ask me what the latest polls are and who my favorite candidates are (I'm better at answering the former than the latter). And it's really interesting to see what questions he asks and who naturally appeals to him. We regularly pause what we're watching to give some background or explain the significance. On the flip side, I'm still hesitant for him to be exposed to too much acrimony, war, terrorism, contentious social issues, and the use of fear as a tactic, whether it be our planet, freedom, or safety that are in peril.

The interview with Obama was the first we've watched together as a family. It was very well done and worth your time. You can watch it online or read the transcript.

I want Ben to really be aware of Obama's candidacy and remember it when he's older. I don't know what is going to happen, but I still think it's a significant moment in our history and that there's something truly special going. I honestly support few of his positions, but I have great respect for the senator and his efforts to turn the page on the endless bitterness and just repetitiveness of the last 20 years. As the primary campaign goes on, I know he has been pulled further and further to the left, and there is often little of the common ground found in his 2004 convention address, but I believe his heart and intentions are good, and he truly wants to bridge many of the things that divide us.

Living in Texas, I doubt I'll have the opportunity to vote in a primary election that matters. If you are in a state that counts, though, and are likely to vote in the Democratic primary, I hope you vote for Senator Obama. I don't know that he would have my vote in November, but he is the true class of the field, possessing a newness, thoughtfulness, humbleness, and excitement that is rare. There is certainly a possibility that Senator Clinton could win the general election, but her nomination would inevitably lead to a campaign more about the past than the future. In the words of Monty Python, now, if ever, is the time for something completely different.