The 2009 Presidential Holiday Card?
As a vegan, animal rights activist, and believer that is is important to make a distinction between "disinterested"
and "uninterested," I know all about quixotic pursuits and the impossible dream. This is why I stood and applauded Ralph Nader when he spoke at Cooper Union in 2000 during his run for president and why, when I played USA Today
's Presidential Matching Game
, I kept coming up with Kucinich as my preferred candidate, despite twice making myself more conservative on immigration and taxes.
Yet, something has happened, whereby the quixotic is looking more and more feasible. It comes in the form of Barack Obama
. I like what he represents; I like what he says and how he says it. I like the fact that he doesn't come with the drama of the Clintons, and (unlike Kerry in 2004) he's fought back against the politics of dirt. True, he is more conservative than Kucinich; and yet, as someone not from the U.S., I heartily agree with him when he says he can represent America better than anyone. For me, it's not that he's the best qualified (whatever that means). It's just that the improbable nature of his story, the internationalism inherent in his biography, the beautiful way he writes (it matters to a writer/editor like me!), and the all-round classiness of him and Michelle: all that would send a signal message to the world that America is back, and how! Whatever the fashionable may think, America does
matter: it matters that it doesn't torture or fight unauthorized wars, and that it celebrates its diversity. Its pluralism and generosity, its constitution and its declaration of independence: these matter, and Obama is the quintessence of that possibility and that potential.
Not being a citizen (yet), I can't vote: not in the primary; not in the general; not nowhere. So, I'm putting this out there: Vote for Obama! Please. Hillary Clinton is a fine legislator and knows her stuff; John McCain is an honorable man. But the Supreme Court has quite enough conservatives on it already, and do we really want a return to the drama, and the infighting, of the Clinton years? And can she really win?
One final thing: On February 12, 2009, a mere three weeks after inauguration day, the U.S. will celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of another Illinois politician who changed the face of America: Abraham Lincoln. What would it say about how far America has come, and how far it could still go, if it was President Obama who hosted the celebrations that day? So, vote Obama: Please. It really matters.