For those who do not know, Mr Obama is the Junior Senator from Illinois, elected to the Senate in 2004. He is widely tipped as potential presidential material.
His writing style is both candid and readable, and he comes across as surprisingly “normal” for one who is a professional politician.
The book opens with an account of his birth and background. Unlike most of his colleagues in the U.S. Senate, he has actually seen how the other half lives, having grown up overseas (in Indonesia). This gives him a unique perspective among his peers.
As I read the early pages of this book, I found myself wanting to see this man elected as president. That was until he touched on the constitution, referring to as “a living document”. That was when we parted ideological company.
The Constitution was drafted over a number of years by a bunch of very smart people who believed in small, limited central government, low taxation, individual rights and minimal governmental intervention.
Last time I looked, was a legal document that said what it meant and meant what it said. It is about as negotiable as the Ten Commandments. It is not intended to be interpreted and reinterpreted according to cultural whim and contemporary fad; if it were there would be no need for a mechanism and procedure for changing it.
This document is what the President swears to “preserve, protect and defend” in his Oath of Office. Not “America”. Not “The American People”. The Constitution.
From this point on, the book goes steadily southwards, as he advocates government help in various areas that obviously need improvement. Help that comes out of the pockets of Mr. and Mrs. You and Me.
This is not a pro or anti-demopublican rant – I would vote for neither. There used to be a time when the two parties had major ideological differences (small/big gov’t, taxation, States rights etc), but now it seems that their only real difference is who their friends are.
In conclusion, I have a lot of admiration and respect for this man, and I think that he will bring a bit of horse-sense to the Senate, as long as he remains in touch with reality. However, I cannot bring myself to seriously consider any man for the presidency whose oath of office would be meaningless.
Now Reading: Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis