Why I’m voting for Barack Obama

[Let’s get the usual disclaimer out of the way, first things first.]

For those of you who haven’t noticed that I have a political point of view, forgive the intrusion, but this is my Election Day editorial, and for that matter, it’s my name on the masthead, so I pretty much get to say what I want here, right?

Don’t worry, this won’t take long.

I’m voting for Barack Obama because it changes the world.

Not because he will be the first African-American U.S. President, or because I agree with every single plank in this cycle’s Democratic platform (I don’t), or because I think he is my new bicycle, but because at this time in history, the strongest, most positive, most important message we can send the rest of the planet is this:

The American Dream is still alive. And so is democracy.  Because if Obama can grow up to be President of the United States, so can my daughter, and your son, and their friends, and their children, none of whom happen to be descended from the hale and hearty folks who came over on the Mayflower, puking and praying and putting up with the likes of John Winthrop all the way across.

So yeah, Winthrop was right.  America does have a chance to be that city on a hill, but the message isn’t some Reagan-era crap about how we’re right and everyone else is wrong; the message is that we know what’s right, and we’ll do our best to make it right for everyone.

And we’ll start in the voting booth around the corner, standing in line with our friends and families and neighbors, trying to make things right.  If things go well, maybe we won’t wake up Wednesday morning mumbling about leaving this country for good.

Hope