November 2, 2008
Why Obama is a series of guest essays by musicians and authors, where they share their support for Democratic United States presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama and offer arguments why he needs to be elected president of the United States.
Jim Santo is the lead guitarist for The Sharp Things.
In his own words, here is Jim Santo's Why Obama essay :
Next month, I will turn 50.
A shocking turn of events for a die-hard rock n' roller. There is something to be said for clean living, I suppose. I am guessing that I'm at least a generation removed from the average LHB reader, so I thought it might be useful to offer a perspective from the "far right" of the age-demographic bell curve.
'Cause, like, I'm old.
How old? I actually remember President John F. Kennedy. I was four years old. His assassination and funeral preempted all programming and I couldn't watch Wonderama. That sure sucked.
And I remember, when I was nine, being awakened by my mother, hustling me downstairs to watch "history" on the television. That was President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was elected in a landslide after JFK's death, and was now loathed equally by the left (for Vietnam) and the right (for the Great Society), telling the nation in prime time: "I shall not seek, and I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your President."
Can you imagine that happening today?
I also remember, later that year, Bobby Kennedy's murder. And Martin Luther King's murder; I remember that too. And the election of President Richard M. Nixon. Nineteen-sixty-eight was a shit year. But, you know, I was only nine.
My entry into politics was inauspicious. I was a 13-year-old "young Republican" working for Nixon's re-election, on Long Island in 1972. What can I say? It was Long Island. It was 1972. I did my job, but Nixon f*cked up and stepped down. At least I wasn't drafted.
President Gerald Ford pardoned Tricky Dick, promised to "Whip Inflation Now" (he had buttons made) and was ruthlessly mocked every Saturday night by Chevy Chase. Unimpressive.
I was a month too young to vote for President Jimmy Carter, a decent, intelligent man who wore sweaters, fought "killer rabbits" and had his nuts cut off by Ayatollah Khomenei. I was stoned for Carter's entire term.
President Ronald Reagan's two terms was a goddamn eight-year nightmare. I despised that phony son-of-a-bitch and his X-ray wife, and I can't believe I actually look back on his presidency with nostalgia.
Ditto President George H.W. Bush, whom I will mainly remember for two things:
1) Holding up a bag of crack on TV and claiming that it was "seized a few days ago by Drug Enforcement agents in a park just across the street from the White House." This was a lie, of course. The crack dealer whom the feds set up for the staged arrest didn't even know where the White House was.
2) Throwing up on the prime minister of Japan.
Truth be told, I was never a huge fan of President Bill Clinton. Sure, I agreed with his policies, and yes I admired his intellect, but whenever he spoke, I felt like I was being manipulated. Of course, the whole blow-job thing was not helpful.
Since 2000, well, it's just been f*cking awful.
And then this guy Obama comes along.
First time I saw him, and heard him speak, I thought: Damn, this guy is smart. He's young. He's rational. And he's got the right ideas.
And I thought: Finally.
The Sharp Things links:
also at Largehearted Boy: