Finally the time has come to cast our votes. I of course, being a dog, can not, but you can, and should! It's the right thing to do.
Anyone who's read my blog probably knows how I feel about this election and the candidates, so pardon me for being a pest, but since this will be my last posting before the election I'd just like to take a few moments and sum up the candidates as I see them, one last time.
I know there are millions of people who, for whatever reason are just crazy about Barack Obama. And yes, I do get it. I can perfectly understand why people are attracted to him. By all accounts he appears to be a very smart guy with a lot of youthful energy. He's an eloquent speaker, a fearless fighter, a tireless campaigner and compared his Democratic rival, Hillary, he seems downright likable. All good qualities which makes him an appealing candidate.
And, unlike many of his colleagues in the Senate, he was not as they say, born with a silver spoon in his mouth; he's had to work hard to get where he is, and despite his humble beginnings he has, in a relatively short time managed to build a stunning political career against all odds. That in itself should be enough to win him the respect of his peers and bring in the votes, but, what makes Barack Obama even more remarkable is that of all the obstacles he's had to overcome to get where he is, there is probably none more conspicuous then race itself.
For the first time in our history we're actually voting to elect an African American. That in itself is remarkable, and something I think all Americans should be rather proud of, because it shows just how very far we've come from a time, not so long ago, when blacks were not even allowed to use the same public restrooms or drink from the same water fountains as whites. And although the problem of racism in America is still very real, this election is nonetheless an enormous step in the right direction, and one which will have lasting significance. And, even if Mr. Obama were to lose tonight (which I doubt) he will to some extent have fulfilled part of his promise to bring about real change.
Okay, good for him.
That being said, let me now touch briefly on a few things I don't like about Obama. While it may be good for Americans to feel as though they've turned a corner in the long struggle for civil rights, the real importance of this election has little to do with the issue. While most might agree it's wrong to use race as a reason for voting against someone, it's also equally wrong to vote for someone because of it. Anyone who goes around saying a vote for John McCain is in some ways racist is an idiot.
Putting race aside, there are still many good reasons to question Obama's qualifications to lead, not the least of which is his lack of real world experience. For one thing he has never served in any position of real authority, nor has he ever held a job in which he's been held personally accountable for the success or failure of any institution. His political viewpoints show him to be one of the most, if not the most liberal member of the US Senate. Even more so then Nancy Polosi or Harry Reid. And let's not over look the fact that he has a long history of choosing to surround himself with people who's political views are considered radical to say the least, if not outright dangerous. All these things make me question is judgment.
Electing a president is certainly not a black and white issue, and should never be chosen based on even the slightest suggestion of being an entitlement. Electing a President is, and always has been a leap of faith, and with that there's no guarantee we're going to end up getting what we want or need.
As for McCain, I have to admit, I've never been a big fan of his politics. He's always been just a tad too liberal on certain issues for me. But I can honestly say, I have never felt the slightest reason to question his sense of leadership, or his judgment. I think he has what it takes to make the kind of hard decisions a president must make under pressure. And I have never had a reason to question his commitment to his country. I wish I could say the same about Barack Obama, but I can't. If the poles are right, it looks as though he is sure to be our next president, whether I like him or not. If he's elected he will of course make history, and while that may be enough for some, there's a lot more at stake then just his legacy. After all is said and done, it will all be up to him to prove to a skeptical world that he's more then just a lot pretty talk. This time he's going to have to lead.
While some of his fans in the the Democratic party may choose to view Obama as their new JFK, I for one would be more then willing, (at least for now) to give him the benefit of the doubt, and just Hope to God he doesn't turn out to be the next Jimmy Carter.
But hey, what do I know, I'm just a dog.