Tuesday, October 28, 2008

“One Week Away from Changing America”

Barack Obama speaking in Ohio on Monday

It’s impossible not to sweat these last seven days of America’s latest presidential campaign. So much is on the line. The country has suffered tremendously--economically, morally, psychologically, and in terms of international respect--during George W. Bush’s troubled tenure. Those of us who have waited to see Bush depart the White House and be replaced by Barack Obama, a man extraordinarily well-equipped in terms of intelligence and temperament to become the 44th president, are now just counting down the days. And worrying the whole way--wondering whether the polls will suddenly shift dramatically, whether the Republicant’s will start another war to distract the voters, whether one of John McCain’s ludicrous charges about Obama endorsing “socialist” policies (as if Bush’s $700 billion bailout of U.S. corporations weren’t already socialistic in nature) will scare the nation’s few remaining undecideds into the McCain-Palin camp.

This has been a hard-fought campaign, and one that promises great and needed change. But McCain and the man whose third term he hopes to win, Bush, seem determined to keep the United States on its present self-destructive course, continuing failed health-care policies, continuing to enrich the rich and ignore the poor, and maintaining an atmosphere of fear and internecine hatred that makes advances unlikely, at best. It amazes me that, after seeing McCain’s poor performance on the stump and in debates, and learning of Sarah Palin’s lack of qualifications to be one 72-year-old’s heartbeat away from the presidency, any American would cast his or her ballot for the Republican’t ticket this year. But then I’m an optimist at heart. I believe that that the United States can still pull out of the tailspin the McCain-Bush policies have sent it into over the last seven-plus years. That change is only possible, though, with Barack Obama in the White House. McCain would bring still further decline. With Obama, there’s at least the hope that this country can once more be the moral, political, and economic leader it was prior to 2001.

To make that happen, everyone who believes that Obama can help turn this country around has to vote for him on November 4. This is no time for complacency, not time to assume that the election is in the bag for Democrats already, and there’s no reason to cast your ballot. Only our collective voices, our amassed determination will help put Barack Obama over the top. We need him, and he needs us.

This is no time for either side to let the other down.

READ MORE: Full Remarks from Obama in Closing Argument Speech; “Obama’s Moment,” by Eric Bates (Rolling Stone); “My Choice: Obama,” by Charles McC. Mathias Jr. (The Washington Post); “Obama Takes Michigan, National Newspaper Endorsement Derby,” by Diane Sweet (The Michigan Messenger); “Presidential Tracking Polls Are Not Created Equal,” by Ed Brayton (The Michigan Messenger).

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