Monday, November 03, 2008

Pass/Fail

This insanely long electoral process, from candidates announcing through a remarkably contested primary season past party conventions and now to the Election Day it sometimes seemed would never come, has clearly produced the single best person to run our country for the next four years.

Obama may be a historical choice because of his race, but that is far from the real reasons to vote for him. His combination of intelligence (book smarts, people smarts, sportsman smarts, a lil' of the ol' Chicago political street smarts), learning, temperament, energy, magnanimity and oratory, his now obviously monumental leadership skills, his incredibly capable strategic gifts, make him the right man at this critical -- and perilous -- juncture in our nation's history.

For those of us who have worked to convince friends and strangers, made calls, written posts and email, those who have knocked on doors and will continue to do all of the above until a victor is declared on (please, Lord) Tuesday night, the fears of defeat have frayed nerves far too long.

Let it go.

With the choice before us so obvious, there's a point where it is no longer in the hands of any one of us. It's the moment when America takes its biggest, clearest test since maybe the Civil War. If Obama loses due to fear or ignorance tied to racism, then America is not the Republic as advertised. It is a very simple final exam here, one that isn't graded on a curve or with A's, B's and C's.

It's a pass/fail test.

If America makes the correct choice, it'll go a long way towards restoring the notion of American greatness, of the belief that all men and women are created equal, that there is no English-style class system, that any child regardless of race (and one hopes, by extension, gender or religious orientation, maybe someday sexual orientation) can grow up to become President.

As we roll into the climax of the most epic contemporary political tale imaginable, Obama's grandmother has died, the woman who raised him to be the man on the verge of quite likely winning the Presidency. While on first blush it appears a crying shame, it can also be seen as the final send-off, the moment where the assumption of manhood, Obama becoming the person of destiny he was meant to be, is entered into poetically, having said his goodbyes, now without any parental figure fully on his own.

Or, as he put it:



I predict that the Obama campaign will be studied in both political science classes as well as business schools for the next several decades. There's never been anything like it, the first truly 21st century Presidential campaign.

I predict scores of voters not being able to reach the voting booth before polls close, but even if the election is decided by the time they reach the lever, they'll want to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

I predict a shocking landslide margin, per the traditional first voting just after midnight in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, which has not gone for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1968:

President Bush won the town in a landslide in the last two elections: He captured 73 percent of the vote in 2004 (19 residents picked Bush while six preferred Sen. John Kerry), and secured 80 percent of the vote in 2000 (21 votes for Bush, five votes for Al Gore.)

But villagers expected the results to be close this year given Democrats now outnumber Republicans there.

This time:
General Election: (21 voters)
Barack Obama - 15
John McCain - 6
Dixville Notch's grade 2008:
Pass!

5 comments:

slick said...

Keep the faith...

Devoted Reader in Delmar said...

I predict California won't matter - it will be all over by then.
DR in Delmar

Erika said...

Maybe California won't matter, but California will VOTE ANYWAY!!

And let me say, Nettertainment, I couldn't have made it through this election without you!

Anonymous said...

FYI: 2 hour lines in NYC this A.M. at poll opening time.

Mark Netter said...

Prop 8 is a huge deal in CA, and since Obama supporters are more likely to be against it, I'm hoping the turnout will only be depressed on the GOP side should Obama look like an early evening winner!