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Friday, August 29, 2008


Obama in Denver, and the Choice Before Us

During the 2004 presidential campaign, I heard the best one-line political zinger in my life. It came from Janeane Garofalo, who when asked what she thought of Bush's supporters, said "I think voting Republican is a character flaw."

Back then, it elicited a hearty laugh from me. But tonight, after watching the sublimely magnificent speech by Barack Obama in Denver -- a historical moment if there ever was one -- the zinger has become deadly serious, a truth unlike any other in our troubled times.

Why? Because if you aren't blind to the world around you, you know the truth of America's decline. If you look around at your neighborhood, your co-workers, your family...you know the country is in serious and pervasive trouble. And if you heard Barack Obama, you know that there is another choice, a solution, a way out.

So if you vote Republican in 2008, you choose not ignore that way out. You choose more decline, more waste, more violence, more economic disparity, more debt, more war, more loss, more destruction. You damn America to a terrible fate.

And that is a character flaw, of the worst kind. After tonight, there is no excuse to vote for John McCain. Not one. Not a single, solitary reason that is good enough to wreak such wholesale damage on our nation.

I honestly don't care if you like Barack Obama or not, people. Get over it. This is larger than personality. This is larger than media memes. This is a crucial, necessary moment in history. The only acceptable option for America is Obama. If you choose to stay home or vote for McCain, you have failed your duty and responsibility as a human being. Period.

Cultural reporting returns tomorrow. Thank you all for putting up with my political obsession this week.

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