Barack Obama had a great day on Super Dooper Tuesday. But there are still many who “just don’t get him”.
We have so many real, in-our-face problems and we’re looking for real, immediate solutions. That’s understandable. And while Barack tells us he can get us there, he won’t capitulate by simply offering media-friendly versions of easy answers. That’s one of the reasons I like him so much. But that’s also one of the reasons he has people calling him empty-handed.
People ask “What will he do for us? Words and hope can’t put food on my table.” No, and neither will easy answers that sound great in sound bytes but fall short in reality. It takes a strong, sincere person to honor that.
Barack Obama has something much more important than easy answers: he is daring to ask different questions – really intelligent questions that look at problems from different angles.
I’ve made a good living as a business consultant helping to change organizations and internal processes – and I am not a traditional consultant by any means. Just like Barack, I’m not afraid to try to reframe original questions to help get us to real, structural solutions. And for me, that’s what Obama offers.
Solutions to complex problems do not have easy answers. And many of our problems are intertwined with other issues, not all apparent at first glance. We need someone who can pull together, inspire, and lead a team of bright, energized people who have a vision that takes into account all the pieces and all the ways they connect with each other. And we need someone who gets that if we have a solid, well-crafted larger vision, we CAN institute some solutions now and the rest in phases – interlocking solutions designed to eventually help alleviate the deeper problems.
And I believe Barack gets this and will do all he can (and we can) to work for real, lasting change – not the kind that just gets you votes and applause in the short run.
Politics isn’t easy. Either is change. I know that. I’ve seen solutions for change work and I’ve seen others collapse under their own weight. And often the only difference is someone at the outset forgot to ask the right questions – or challenge the long-held status quo. No matter what polls are saying.
I’m not voting for a bag full of predetermined answers (although he already has a solid take on the issues and can hit the ground running). I’m voting for someone who will roll up his or her sleeves, gather together bright minds, and not be afraid to ask lots of tough questions while looking for new solutions – solutions that take in the best ideas from all sides. And for me, (although I believe Hillary Clinton can also do the job) that person is best exemplified by Barack Obama.
Of that, I have no question.
Not directly related, but still one of my favorite speeches about how you get things done in politics. From The American President: