H-Hour Minus Eight

As I’ve stated here before, I intend to vote for Obama, an intention I just turned into reality about 30 minutes ago. As my friend Brian has used his blog to enumerate his reasons for finally climbing off the fence and reluctantly falling on the side of McCain, I’ve decided to follow suit and put down the major reasons I voted Obama:

1: Foreign Policy. I see Obama as America’s best hope for restoring it’s diplomatic credibility after 8 years of being decimated by bush. The mere fact of his election I believe will help shift world opinion back in our favor. I read an article awhile back, which I can’t find at the moment, but the gist of which was overcoming the perceptions other nations have about our “tribal structure” (whites on top, everyone else take a number) would do much to make some question other stereotypes they hold about America and Americans. Yes it;s a temporary and fleeting effect, but it is a good start on rebuilding our relations and alliances with that nether realm known as “the rest of the earth”.

2: Supreme Court. I’m one of those weirdos who thinks that, despite the fact that in a perfect world ideology should play no role in judicial nominations, the supreme court needs to be ideologically balanced. bush has tilted the court to the right, and with at least another 2 justices likely to retire by 2012 I believe Obama’s appointees would keep the court from becoming too conservative.

3: Morality. Tied into 2, Obama’s social positions largely match my own. On abortion, reducing the number performed while keeping it legal. And he also supports most of the tenets of what I see as the happy middle in the gay marriage debate: gays can have all the legal rights and privileges that come with marriage under a civil union. Marriage is inherently a religious institution and should therefore be left to the discretion of the various religions.

4: Taxes. The Reckoning having disproven the inviolability of trickle-down economics, I see no reason to keep the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Simply returning tax levels on the rich to clinton-adminsitration levels will not bring about some kind of economic armageddon any more than runaway deregulation and profligate loaning already has (note to brian: no I have not forgotten clinton’s role in brining about the subprime crisis). While I am concerned about Democrats becoming as drunk on power as the GOP once did, I think fundamentally Obama’s economic policies are what we need right now.

5: Overall. I could keep on going, but it also comes down to the leadership and cool head he’s shown throughout the campaign. The argument over inexperience is fairly refuted by the fact that he’s run the most efficient and deadly political campaign in modern American history, built from the ground up by hundreds of thousands of volunteers and small donors. It’s exactly this kind of leadership we need to lead us out of the darkness that has been the last 8 years and guide us through the challenges that are to come. I have few illusions about the man. Yes I’m very, very, VERY enthusiastic about his candidacy but I realize he is only a man, and a flawed one at that. But I think he’s the leader we need now, the steady hand at the tiller that won’t have a magical solution for every problem, but will, at the very least, get us going again in the right direction.

If the preceding sounds like a lot of mad rambling it probably is. I’m bad at explaining the jumbled mess in my head that constitutes mosto f my long-held opinions and I’m pretty adrenaline fueled today. So if nothing else take away from this post a sense that Obama’s a great option to vote for, and you should get off your ass and to your nearest polling place no matter what your affiliation/preference.

A note on the timer: H-Hour is set for 8pm, which is when polls close in Pennsylvania and will have already closed in Virginia, the two most decisive states with the earliest poll times. By 8 we’ll know whether we have a president elect or 6 more months of winter. Or at least another hour or two of waiting.

We’re All In This Together