A clear choice for America: Obama or oblivion

Why would any sane politician wish to become janitor-in-chief of a nation just waking up to the incredible mess piled up after a quarter of a century of misgovernment in both domestic and foreign affairs, with the last six years in complete drunken recklessness under such a supreme a-bush-er by popular consent?

Indeed why! Politicians, American style, are neither into masochism nor martyrdom.

Never since 1932 has reality loomed so frightful in America in both its short as well as its long term horizon. At least Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t have to explain to Americans then who the villains for such a mess were. They knew! In 2008, however, no politician will dare tell a bogus middle class of its complicity in letting predatory capitalism, as well as their own greed and excessive consumption, help destroy not only the economy but America’s credibility as a democratic, fair, and principled nation.

So now, placed before us, here we have two candidates representing that anachronistic and undemocratic duopoly that rules American politics; two marionettes held by special interests’ strings of Tweedledum and Tweedledee: John “Dum” McCain and Barack “Dee” Obama representing, respectively, the Republican and Democratic parties. Each professing to have the best interests of the nation at heart; each professing to bring to the White House those great attributes of leadership, wisdom, knowledge and desire to take us back to that epoch of foreign adulation towards the United States of America. And to prove the point, Dum and Dee wave before all of us that sign, by now so empty and meaningless, of “change.” And change we’ll have, but not because either of them.

Is it back to the old cliché of voting for the lesser of two evils? Or are progressives, and by progressives I don’t mean mousy liberals, supposed to hold their ideals up high and deny both the vote?

After a brief background exposé, this progressive writer will tell you how he intends to exercise his right to vote in this coming election, one sure to be, politically, a watershed for the United States.

“To be fiscally responsible, you need not be a conservative; however, to be socially responsible, you cannot be a conservative.” That has become my own sociopolitical postulate, one that I painstakingly developed after more than two decades of internal struggle that finally was resolved; and one which brought me a much sought-after measure of spiritual peace.

A conservative and somewhat religious upbringing isn’t easy to dispose of; made even more difficult when you choose a career in business which doesn’t allow much deviation in the path you are expected to walk. My first registration to vote (Barry Goldwater vs. Lyndon Johnson) was Republican, a registration which hasn’t changed in four decades. In 1964, my choice to join the GOP rank and file stood for my conservative convictions; in 2008, however, that very same Republican registration is kept as a reminder, an act of self-mortification, for any social damage I may have contributed to, unwillingly or willingly, during that conservative past; and also as Deo gratias for having received enlightenment through those baptismal waters of progressivism.

Progressives, few in number in this country of ours, and too often silenced by a media that insists we are unpatriotic and/or, “God forbid,” socialists, have always had their vote held hostage by a center-right Democratic party… winking at us at voting time with that cynical… “we are not as bad as the Republicans.” The last time around (2004) we were confronted with a ridiculous alternative to the then Occupant of the White House [with Garrison Keillor’s permission]: another “Skull and Bones” Yalie, John Kerry, placed on the ballot as a tepid Democratic solution to incompetent-in-charge, George W. Bush.

This time, however, progressives need not feel they are prostituting themselves by voting for the Democrats’ candidate, Sen. Barack Obama; for the implication of voting for the Republican ticket this critical time would not augur this nation a minimal chance of salvation. Just across from us, as an option to Obama, is the nightmarish chance of a McCain-Palin administration, a double barrel double triggered no hammer shotgun pointing at us. There isn’t more than one degree of separation between Bush Jr. and McCain: in intellect, in knowledge, in cockiness, in temperament, or in the stupid, phobic way in which they both view the US vis-à-vis the rest of the world. And that one degree of separation between these ignorant two has to do with McCain’s explicit, and very ugly bellicosity… together with his permanently attached ear to Joe Lieberman’s lips.

No, I don’t hold much hope for great accomplishments during an Obama presidency, certainly not any major changes to America’s foreign policy; something in which I would pray to be proven wrong, particularly in regards to peace in the Middle East. However, the alternative, a McCain presidency, would likely push this nation into oblivion, and that is an unacceptable choice for those of us who really love America without continuously, and pharisaically, having to wave the stars and stripes, or wear flag pins in our lapels.

In this presidential election, even if our heart doesn’t go with our vote, progressives must indeed go with the lesser evil so as to counter the racist and xenophobic vote. Senator Barack Obama must not only get our vote, but our best wishes to govern.