For what it’s worth, I’m supporting Barack Obama for President. I’m sure the six people who read this blog are thrilled at the endorsement. Still, it needs to be said and in a Democracy we all get our votes (in theory) even us Socialistic Atheist Librarians.
I’ve been hard on Obama in the recent past but only because I really want to like him more than I do. I didn’t much care for his pandering to religious kooks and think some of his posturing as a Reagan-esque Democrat is both silly and sad. How far to the Right has our country veered when a centrist Democrat can legitimately be compared to Reagan and that be a good thing? Still, he’s got my vote. Patrick Nielsen Hayden put it far more eloquently:
[…] I know perfectly well that Obama, for all his idealism, is well inside the “centrist” consensus on how America ought to conduct itself in the world. He was against the Iraq war from the start, and that means a lot to me, but he’s also not someone who’s going to make the kinds of radical changes to American foreign policy that I would make on Day One if I were in charge. He’s not an insurgent; he’s the standardbearer for a faction of the country’s political elite. I believe that, on balance, this particular faction happens to comprise many of the the smartest and most conscientious individuals from within that elite. So I’m supporting Obama and his train, people like Samantha Power and Robert Malley and Lawrence Lessig, just as a peasant might cheer for an aristocratic faction made up of reasonably decent individuals against other factions made up of out-and-out thugs. Not because the peasant doesn’t know the game is rigged, or doesn’t have the wit to imagine a better world. But because incremental change matters, and because the right incremental changes can lead, like water flowing downhill, to bigger and more profound ones.
I can generally feel good about supporting Obama, confident that he won’t totally fuck shit up during his four to eight years. Sadly, this in itself will be a major improvement. Way to go George, you’ve set the bar so low that as long as your predecessor manages to get through his term without blowing up the planet, it will be considered a net improvement. Not that I think Obama will be this bad. He’ll be quite a bit better and may even be able to effect significant improvement on the state of our lives and our standing in the international community. Grant it, Hillary could do this too, but Obama could take it a few steps further. And further is the way to go.