So throughout the history of this blog, I have constantly ranted and occasionally raved about why John McCain, Sarah Palin and the current Republican Party should not be allowed anywhere near the presidency or our government in general. My writings are generally negative because the world we live in is negative - the hypocrisy of our politicians, the lies, the smears, the incompetence, the idea that there's a "Real America," etc. - these things make me angry and my desire is to shine a light on them... but not tonight. Tonight's piece isn't about why I'm voting against the Republican Party and John McCain, this is strictly about why I'm voting for Barack Obama.
When Barack Obama first appeared on the national stage at the 2004 Democratic Convention, I could instantly tell that he would be a major player in American politics, but I never thought he could potentially become president. Honestly, I didn't even think he had a chance of getting the nomination when he announced his candidacy, but his entire campaign has been about bucking the status quo. I'm glad I was proven wrong and I'm proud to say that I experienced history when I cast my early vote for the first black man to ever receive a major party nomination for president of the United States. Does Obama's race matter? We all like to say it doesn't, we especially like to say it shouldn't, but it does. Don't get me wrong, I'm not voting for Obama because he's black, but I do think it will send a major message to the rest of the world if a country with such a racist history like ours elects a black man named Barack Hussein Obama to the presidency.
Obama is the candidate the world wants us to elect; now of course we're not at the mercy of the rest of the world when it comes to who we vote for, but we do need to consider things like this. This isn't the early 1900s, it's 2008, we can literally communicate with the rest of the world in seconds, we live in a global market and when our economy fails, so does everyone else's. I've heard a lot of small-minded people say it doesn't matter what the rest of the world thinks, but it does. Our dollar is practically worthless, our reputation throughout the world is possibly the lowest its ever been and our basic infrastructure - roads, power grids, bridges, and communications - becomes more antiquated by the day as China trailblazes. Barack Obama understands we've lost our standing in the world and that's not a slam on America, that's a fact. You don't get fixes from people who don't think something is broken, but Obama understands that we've lost our way in the world, but watch the video of him in Germany where 200,000 Germans are waving the American flag and cheering him on - the world wants us to lead again, we just have to step up to the plate.
You can run down the gambit of issues and see where Obama stands on everything, but at the end of the day, we're voting on who can restore America's reputation and make the country a better place to live in. Barack Obama is a once in a generation kind of candidate who certainly doesn't have all the answers, he certainly won't fix every problem facing our country, but he's the step in the right direction that we need right now. We're at a crossroads in our history and we can choose to continue down our same path or we can finally make a change. It won't all get better on January 20 if Obama is sworn into office, but it very well could be the day that the world looks back on and says "this was the moment." Again, it's not all about Barack Obama, it's about every person in this country and on this planet that know we can do better as a society and Obama understands that desire.
We can continue to look at America like a child looks at his mommy - perfect in every way and anyone who criticizes her is wrong - or we can look at America like a person looks at their spouse - flawed, but through hard work and compromise, they can come together to improve one another. I choose the latter, I hope you do as well on November 4.