Let me say at the outset that this post is for those few people who are still waffling about their choice on Election Day(tomorrow..finally!) If you have a) made up your mind and b) are surely going to vote tomorrow, this post is not for you.
However, if you fall in that prized category of “Undecided Voter”( by which I’m assuming you were just unfrozen from the cryogenic sleep you were in for the last two years) let me try and make the case for voting for Senator Barack Obama for President.
If you are an ex-Hillary supporter and can’t quite bring yourself to vote for the guy who outmaneuvered a deserving candidate in the Democratic primaries – Hold your nose and pull the lever for Obama. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that however much they(and you)may disagree on Obama’s readiness to be President, Obama and Clinton agree on policies as closely as two different human beings can. As for readiness, could the Obama campaign have done anything better in the last eighteen months? The ability to create and motivate a team of talented professionals who stay on message, display intense loyalty and close-lippedness over an incredibly hard fought election surely is resume-worthy. Those gray hairs on Obama’s closely cropped head have been hard earned. Besides, Hillary Clinton has had the intelligence and maturity to throw her whole-hearted support behind Obama. Follow her excellent example.
If you are a conservative has never voted for a Democrat before but who started doubting McCain after the Palin pick and some more after the economic crisis – Congratulations! You are to be commended for your intelligence. Contrary to the picture being painted by the McCain campaign, Obama is first and foremost a pragmatist, who respects the constitution only as a scholar of constitutional law can. He welcomes diversity of opinion but is firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to decision making. His ability to be on good terms with people he disagrees with will be an invaluable asset in foreign policy, where he will have the talent to make world leaders with competing agendas feel like he understands and empathizes with their point of view while doing exactly what he wants.
If the gridlock on the Hill over the last 16 years has been a point of frustration for you, think about the advantage of having a President who has demonstrated the capability of making his worst enemy( with initials of W.J.C.) work for him.
If Obama’s tax policy is your sticking point – I bet you remember the Clinton years fondly. The stock market was up, the budget had a surplus, venture capitalists would listen your ideas for the next big thing. Well, your tax rates are just going back to what they were then. Not too bad, huh?
If you are an Indian American – I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of having my mom gleefully point out every Saturday morning how everything is going great in India and how awful things are in the US. Electing a president who is part of a racial minority is the first step in my fight back to reclaim the greatness of this wonderful country. I am also hopeful that with Obama as president, we will start taking steps to restore dignity to the office of the Presidency and be able to legitimately claim an intelligent and thoughtful leader . ( And no mom, Sikh Prime Ministers and women Prime Ministers don’t count – they are not elected directly by the people.)
If you are just too busy tomorrow to take a chance on those long lines at your polling place – Oh come on! Unplug that Crackberry, pack a book, a cap and a folding chair and head to the election booth. This will give you the right for the next 4 years to complain endlessly about why the government is not working for you.
Go forth and VOTE.
If you actually have policy questions( boy, do you have a cram session coming), we have a series of articles on the two candidates’ position on various issues.
Did I mention that I will be live-blogging the election tomorrow? Starting 6:30 a.m. Pacific. Enjoy.