On Tuesday, November 4, American voters will be asked to make a choice unprecedented since 1932: between the politics of convention and the politics of hope. We are on the brink of the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, and sliding rapidly into the abyss. The entire Western world is economically overstretched, in large part because of the profligate policies followed by George W. Bush and those around him. The United States is mired in two wars in Asia, neither of which has a simple end-point visible in the near future.
Over the past eight years, the United States has been governed by a cabal – there is no other word for it – that has wasted the seed-corn. It has ignored good science, it has devastated the good-will built up by its predecessor administration, it has elevated bigotry over common sense, ideology over reality, loyalty over decency. Senator McCain, for all of his sudden conversion to populism, promises nothing different. In fact, in his embrace of the know-nothing ideologism represented by the winking, smirking governor of Alaska, he promises the same policies in a skirt and a Vera Wang leather jacket.
A man who cannot tell the difference between a Zeiss planetarium projector and an overhead projector, whose response to economic crisis is empty gimmickry and gimcrack phraseology does not have the skill or the sense to lead the United States, or the world (which is the job of the president of the United States, after all) in these critical times.
Barack Obama has faced the stormiest electoral campaign of recent times with calm and humour. He has demonstrated, time and again, real understanding of the world, wisdom and humour. His message is hope. It is time for change from the politics of oligarchy, dishonesty, and greed. If you live and vote in the United States, Barack Obama is the only sane choice for president.