Monday, February 04, 2008


Super Tuesday is tomorrow and Scott-O-Rama and This Boy Elroy are featuring articles on why they support Hillary Clinton. I decided to give everyone a little counterpoint and explain why I support Barack Obama and urge everyone to take another look at him if you haven't already.

This country needs change. We all know it. In 2004 many of us tried but ultimately, the rallying cry of "anybody but Bush" just wasn't enough. While George W. Bush will be gone after this election, America has been traveling down the wrong road for a while. We can point to the war, mismanagement and corruption or a whole host of bad decisions over the past several years, but these are only symptoms.

At the root of things is the notion that America is somehow at war with itself; that our fellow citizens with which we disagree are our enemies. For too long we've justified reaching political power by whatever means necessary, forgetting that the damage done in the process outweighs whatever possible good that could be achieved. We have been content for our politics to include the few for the benefit of the few. Some of these tendencies are as old as the nation itself, as we have harbored our divisions for much of our history.

Certainly, the challenges facing our country are significant. Implicit in this coming election is whether we can possibly surmount what lies ahead as a nation divided or choose a new path that brings our nation back together. Let me be clear: Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton will solve all our nation's problems, nor can the solutions that we require be imposed by will alone. True change will only come about by working together.

The irony of this primary is that even though people seem to want change, many who are calling for change are also convinced that we need an "expert" instead of an "amateur," especially when that experience boils down to, "I can spin better, I can outmaneuver, I can beat those guys, I play the game better than they do." While that might have been good enough in 1992 or 1996, hopefully we've learned an important lesson: that we have to work with "those guys" to achieve real solutions instead of political quick fixes. Winning the election isn't enough.

I believe the choice is simple: do you want change or would you prefer the comfort of what you know? Do we play the same tired, old game for another four years? I'm ready for a new direction. I'm ready for Barack Obama.

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