Monday, November 3, 2008

Reason #17: For America

Tomorrow is the election. In a few hours, polls will open, Americans will get up, cut themselves shaving, shove burnt pop-tarts into their faces as they rush out the door, and -- while hopefully wondering why we insist on doing this ritual on a Tuesday -- hit the polls. So while I wanted to make some narrower points, this seems like a good time to get all expansive and reflective.

I like to think of myself as an idealistic curmudgeon. Just ask me; I can give you a dozen highly plausible ways that our society as we know it could achieve catastrophic failure. This brings me no small measure of discomfort, and not just because several of those scenarios lead to my own horrible mutilation. The sadness comes from thinking about the unimaginable loss, not just of lives, but of hopes and possibilities.

Things feel dark right now. I can say, without feeling like I'm exaggerating in the slightest, that the next generation is about to inherit a nation in decline.

Our physical infrastructure is eroding away, as is our sense of pride. In short, America needs a revival, maybe even a resurrection. I believe Barack Obama could bring that about.

We need concerted action right now. A McCain presidency would almost certainly preside over a congress with an even stronger Democratic majority than it has now. It's a recipe for gridlock, and four more years of inaction on some very critical problems. We can't wait another four years to tackle global warming, or to start revitalizing our energy grid, or to get health care to the uninsured.

Obama, if elected, can move much more aggressively. Not just because he has the numbers in Congress, but because he's run a much more positive, unifying campaign than his opponent. He's been selling hope while McCain has been selling mostly Obamaphobia, and destroying his bipartisan cred in the process. So McCain will have a tougher time convincing those who didn't vote for him to follow his plans.

To put it more bluntly, Obama will be able to lead this country, to bring us together in a common cause, in a way that McCain cannot.

Well, I've run out of steam, before I could build up to a decent finale. had a much better idea: a reprint of Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech. Talk about uniting in a common cause.

We few, we happy few. Vote Obama.

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