It’s time for the Inquisitor to weigh in on the election (as if I haven’t already). I hereby endorse Barack Obama for the office of President of the United States. My friend Evo says I should work to get out the vote, so I’m going to start by cajoling anyone within bandwidth of this blog to get out there and vote next Tuesday. Even if you don’t like Obama, even if you’re a racist, bigoted, simpleton who wouldn’t vote for his own mother if she had a suntan, you must vote for Obama. It’s your duty, not only as a citizen, but also as a human being and a person concerned about the future of his country. The reason you must vote for Obama is because to not do so would make you stupid. OK. I know that sounds insulting, condescending and arrogant. Just call me arrogant, then. Call me anything you want, but vote for Obama, or risk the certain judgment that You. Are. Stupid. Let me tell you why.
Obama is smart. He’s intelligent, well educated, even tempered, sophisticated, knowledgeable about the world, and did I mention that he’s intelligent? He knows stuff. He was editor of the Harvard Law Review and a constitutional scholar, for Christ’s sake. You remember that document? The Constitution? The charter of the government of the United States and the basis of all law in this country (except to religious and other right wing nutjobs like Judge Roy Moore, Rush Limbaugh and George Bush, who believe it’s really the Ten Commandments)? Well, Obama knows what the Constitution says, what it allows the President of the United States to do and what it forbids him from doing, and has vowed, and will confirm that vow on January 20, to uphold that Constitution. The same can’t be said about his predecessor, and it’s doubtful that the same can be said about his opponent, John McCain.
McCain used to be a relatively competent, albeit Republican, Senator, who actually earned the moniker “maverick” by forging his own path, and being he own man, after over 20 years in the Senate. He made mistakes, learned from them, and could be admired for his ability to do so. Something happened to him in the last few years, something transforming. He seems to see this as his last chance to be President, due to his age and the direction of the political winds. He has thrown his mavericky nature to those winds, and become a whore to the process. With restrictive blinders firmly attached, he sees only the result, the Presidency, and not what he is doing to attain it, in the process unearthing a side to him that leads only to questions about his competence and ability to lead a country of 300 million people in the 21st Century. This is not a man I want as my President.
Forget about his 8 years of slavishly following the policies of Bush. Forget his inability to gauge the American economy, much less understand it. Forget his devotion to discredited trickle-down Reaganomics and his attachment to deregulation. Forget his role in the Keating 5 scandal. Forget his protectionist posture favoring the rich over the middle and lower classes. All of these, and more, clearly disqualifies him from his stated promise to “change” Washington (a slogan he blatantly appropriated from the Obama campaign, without offering any plan for change). The mere fact that he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, the woman who is one 72 year old heartbeat from the Presidency, while at the same time hypocritically claiming “Country First”, militates in favor of intelligence, and against stupidity, because that decision alone disqualifies McCain for the Presidency. It has to be one of the stupidest decisions the man ever made, and if he honestly thinks it was a good decision, as he claims time after time, in interview after interview, then he is not the man for the job he seeks.
John McCain and Sarah Palin represent everything that is stupid about America, everything that we should reject. Look at what Palin said today. Criticism of the stupid things she says is seen, by her, as an attack on her First Amendment rights. In other words, she thinks that as a candidate, she has the right to say what she wants (she does) but the press has no right to call her on it (they do). The First Amendment exists, primarily, to ensure the opposite result. It is meant to ensure that the press is allowed to say what they want about the government it covers and the people running it. Her statement indicates pure and utter ignorance of the very Constitution she would be a heartbeat from upholding.
Add to this her knowledge of science, or lack thereof, her partiality towards intelligent design, her religious delusions, her complete ignorance of foreign affairs, along with the campaign’s advancement of Joe the Plumber as some sort of American working man’s ideal, and you have a prescription for disaster in American politics that hasn’t been seen since …since…well, hell, there is no precedent. And I haven’t even touched on her positions on the hot button cultural issues like gay marriage and abortion.
On the other hand we have Obama. Well educated, even-keeled, well spoken, informed. He relies on experts to advise him on matters that are not his field, while his opponents simply pander to the knee-jerk lowest common denominators; people that look at the educated sneeringly as “elitists” and “eggheads”. Obama knows the difference between science and religion, even if he is a self avowed Christian. His religion will not interfere in his secular decision making, while his opponents will make religion their litmus test for all decisions. They will look first for spiritual guidance, secondly for secular.
This election really is a no-brainer (and I use the term as a mere figure of speech). If you want a country that will remain at the top of its game; that predominates not only on a military plane, but on an educational, scientific and economic one; a country that has not been sold to special interests, multinational corporations, and foreign countries, then vote for Obama.
There really is no choice.