Obama for President

In the end, it all comes down to character.

But there are other reasons, too, for The Villager to endorse Barack Obama for president of the United States of America.

First and foremost is the replay of the Great Depression of the 1930s that is threatening to engulf all of us. When a stock market can shed 40 percent of its value in a year and wildly yo-yo from 800 down to 500 up to 700 down again to 300 within days, it should become clear that an entire society (not to mention the world) is dancing on the edge of a volcano.

John McCain, in obvious campaign panic, almost took a nosedive into that volcano last month, and hardly seems the guide to keep us out of it. Obama has shown how little he is prone to panic even under cruel and intense pressure. 

Everybody in this country knows, or should know, what most exigently needs fixing — healthcare, mortgages, foreclosures, jobs, equal pay for equal work, restoration of the regulation of our financial markets, crumbling infrastructure, the environment, energy sources, global warming, a war in Iraq, a war in Afghanistan.

It is not enough to plumb the thoughts of a Joe the Plumber on these and other needs and/or catastrophes, many of which McCain has been blind to in the first place. We have high hopes that on taking office, Senator Obama would quickly move to address the most pressing of these problems. With his prodigious intellect and ability to reach across the aisle, he is surely more than up to the task.

McCain, on the other hand, truly is “more of the same,” and merely would be four more years of Bush’s failed policies — exactly what this country, and the world, cannot afford at this urgent time of global financial crisis. Sound, new ideas are needed and Obama is the candidate who has shown us he has far more of them.

Surely, Obama is the most astonishingly intelligent, eloquent and composed candidate for our nation’s highest office in a long time. Older readers will remember Eugene McCarthy, Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy, but that’s about it.

Obama has brought out this country’s youth as nobody, not even Robert Kennedy, ever did, and he has of course brought out the hopes of black voters as never before. Obama has already, win, lose or draw, lifted this nation’s prestige among the other nations of the world back toward the heights on which it was held before George W. Bush and Co. drove America’s image maniacally into the garbage can, torture and all.

No American of goodwill could view the tears in the eyes of weathered black men and women the night of Obama’s nomination in that football stadium in Denver without a shiver of correlative emotion.

The candidate who occasioned those tears has shown for many months that he is a man of fresh ideas and extraordinary character. Barack Obama is a man whose time has come.