As the dirty tricks grow, the polls are said to tighten and the so-called "Bradley effect" threatens, it must be a good time to consider the good reasons, if any, to vote for Barack Obama.
First of all, his being a black man.
This must be the main and the most important reason and this is probably a bad one. It may be a significant progress for the USA and the world to see a black man leading the most powerful country, but it may not be enough. The civil rights may regress throughout the country, the efforts may be stopped, this victory may be seen as the proof there's no need to fight and to move on anymore when some hates may be reinforced somehow. The victory of Obama would represent a huge step, but only a step. We know how strong it is in this country, in the world, to think that being black is not an obstacle anymore to reach to the highest job. This is not enough, this is only a symbol, but this is a powerful symbol.
Of course, his blackness is not a reason not to vote for him, but it may not be a reason to vote for him also. We hope people do not vote considering a color of a skin.
An other reason is his being a democrat.
We can see how democrats take advantage of the Bush administration failure. There's a lot of work to do to fix the economy, to restore trust in the us throughout the world, to forbid the threatens against freedom and torture Bush allowed and supported within his presidency, to close Guantanamo and to stop the death penalty.
Barack Obama doesn't seem ambitious enough. He won't change this unfair economic system, his tax plan won't "spread wealth", whatever the republican say, but may be less unfair than the McCain plan, who recently moved toward the right.
Barack Obama's health care plan is weak and sounds like a sleight-of-hand not to threaten the republican voters. This plan won't be that "affordable", because poor people will still have other priorities than their health and also because, with the economic crisis, his plan will be even less ambitious.
It will be difficult to close Guantanamo, but Barack Obama promised it.
And his ideas about the death penalty are almost too subtle to be trustworthy: "Obama was also a cosponsor on a comprehensive reform of the death penalty in the state of IL., which many believe will begin a domino effect in neighboring states to abolish or reform their own death penalty systems. Although, it should be noted that Obama is not against the death penalty as a whole. He believes that some crimes are irreconcilable, such as the rape or murder of children, mass murder, that a society has the right to call for the death of prisoner..."
An other reason was pointed by John Kerry on "Meet the press" yesterday, who repeated what we all think after the economic meltdown, that McCain is erratic while Obama is calm and trustworthy. We saw in this blog how those qualities were flaws earlier and how McCain's shooting from the hips used to seem to be a quality... But the fact is Barack Obama turned out to be calm enough to listen and determined enough to manage. Those must be important qualities to lead.
The last reason is his raising such a hope throughout the world.
This hope is irrational and looks like rather a worship than a serious trust. This hope doesn't rely on facts. It is raised by a charming campaign, which is vague and imprecise enough to let people think what they want, and uses more easily emotions than political points. This hope will be disappointed. But before it lands, before the buzz is killed, this hope will probably strongly impulse a ground swell of change and will constitute a huge opportunity, a strong energy for the one who arouses it and will likely lead the country. Plenty of things will be possible for Barack Obama because of this hope. Plenty of things will also be impossible. He won't do everything. No human can respond to such a hope. But he has a large margin before him. People have a large margin before them, since, with this hope, that's what they believe.
This hope in this symbol is an appointment with history. It can't be missed because of all the things it makes possible.