Thursday, October 30, 2008

Endorsing Senator Obama

The magazine The Economist, which is edited in London and has 700,000 U.S. readers, has endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president. On October 29, Editor & Publisher reported that 231 American newspapers had endorsed Senator Obama and that 102 newspapers had endorsed Senator John McCain. Thus, it was startling, considering not only those endorsements but my own election-year perceptions and Senator Obama’s thirty-minute television broadcast last night, to get a note from a friend who indicated she’s looking for a real reason to vote for Senator Obama. (Anyone interested in Barack Obama’s positions can go to I think that Senator Obama has run a beautiful, intelligent, politically progressive campaign, one that expressed his personality, his view of the world, and his civic intentions. This man, a man of the world, who has lived in Indonesia, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and New York as well as the heartland of America, a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard, an expert in constitutional law, first an Illinois state senator before being elected to the national congress, a genuine intellectual, a gentleman, is the most promising political candidate I have seen in my lifetime. He has offered a wide range of principles and proposals that leave no question about his priorities: among them, international diplomacy; fair international trade with labor protection and environmental standards; tax cuts for the middle class and for small businesses; investment in new energy sources and “green” jobs; support for universal preschool, giving children an early orientation toward learning, and education-related tax credits in exchange for community service for young people, and better recruitment of teachers, with higher salaries for teachers; affordable health care, with a focus on preventive medicine; etc. I have appreciated his repudiation of the invasion of Iraq, and his critique of the lawless, self-indulgent gambling on Wall Street. The question is, Are we interested in the possibility of change, or do we want more of the same—the same policies that mean a war founded on lies and an economy on the brink of collapse? Do we elect a president with hope, or out of fear and hatred?