As I'm sure that faithful readers are waiting for this blog's recommendation for this political cycle, and the candidacies are reaching the final stage, I believe it's now time for me to endorse a candidate, Barack Obama.
The reason is simple: his recent speech on race. In it, he showed a willingness to do something which politicians are generally unwilling to do: look on both sides of an issue, and actually consider it. Yes, it has come in response to a political crisis; yes, it did speak of religion a bit too often for secular thinkers like myself. But it serves as proof, I think, that Obama is the best choice for tackling our society's current problems.
Hillary Clinton is, to be sure, an impressive candidate herself, and I think that it's telling that Obama has been able to upstage her in the public debate. By now, she is a master politician, who would, no doubt, lead this country sure-handedly. Personally, I have been turned off by her recent tactics, which seem to be rooted in the current political dynamic; Clinton simply does not have the transformational potential of Barack Obama, despite the fact that she, too, would be a first. I expect that Hillary will win the Democratic nomination.
John McCain, who I suspect will win the general election, probably cannot be as poor a president as George W. Bush. Although, as a pacifist, I abhor his militarism, he does seem to be a man of principle, who would make decisions based on actual situations and information, as opposed to whatever twisted ideas drove the Bush administration to the needless war in Iraq. I do not, however, expect him to do anything to address the growing problem of health-care in this country, or do anything to improve the economy for working people.
Barack Obama is our best chance at not only changing the tone of debate in Washington to provide something more useful for the citizens of this country, but also towards making progress on the long-standing issues which plague us. Both Ms. Clinton and Mr. McCain have been in Washington too long to take truly brave, transformational stances; though both would almost certainly be an improvement over the craven, war-mongering administration in place now, neither have the potential of Mr. Obama.
Hope is a powerful message; and although the potential for failure is always present, audacity is necessary to change situations for the better. In this, Mr. Obama outclasses all his opponents, and for this reason, he should be elected president in November.