With just two weeks to go until a new president is (s)elected, it's oh-so-comforting to hear sane, rational pronouncements of why Barack Obama could be such a gift to this country. I've been getting strange chain emails lately from people who are giving me positive thinking and visualization exercises; urging me to repeat to myself stuff like, "I am so grateful for President Obama," like, 15 times. Some even asking me to then stand on one leg and flap my arms and do a chicken dance while imagining a voodoo doll of McCain burning in flames (actually, nobody said to do that, still waiting on that one).
But in an effort to tap into the power of positive thinking, I will call attention to some of the amazing endorsements Obama's been getting lately. Like the one that came out today by Colin Powell. His story about the Muslim soldier's grave in Arlington was so fitting; I really hope it really resonates with all the xenophobic Islamophobes in the country:
And The New Yorker's official endorsement was so beautiful, got me a bit choked up. Key exerpts:
It is perfectly legitimate to call attention, as McCain has done, to Obama’s lack of conventional national and international policymaking experience. We, too, wish he had more of it. But office-holding is not the only kind of experience relevant to the task of leading a wildly variegated nation. Obama’s immersion in diverse human environments (Hawaii’s racial rainbow, Chicago’s racial cauldron, countercultural New York, middle-class Kansas, predominantly Muslim Indonesia), his years of organizing among the poor, his taste of corporate law and his grounding in public-interest and constitutional law—these, too, are experiences. And his books show that he has wrung from them every drop of insight and breadth of perspective they contained.*spoiler alert* Here's the very last paragraph. I do declare, this brought out the waterworks out for me:
We cannot expect one man to heal every wound, to solve every major crisis of policy. So much of the Presidency, as they say, is a matter of waking up in the morning and trying to drink from a fire hydrant. In the quiet of the Oval Office, the noise of immediate demands can be deafening. And yet Obama has precisely the temperament to shut out the noise when necessary and concentrate on the essential. The election of Obama—a man of mixed ethnicity, at once comfortable in the world and utterly representative of twenty-first-century America—would, at a stroke, reverse our country’s image abroad and refresh its spirit at home. His ascendance to the Presidency would be a symbolic culmination of the civil- and voting-rights acts of the nineteen-sixties and the century-long struggles for equality that preceded them. It could not help but say something encouraging, even exhilarating, about the country, about its dedication to tolerance and inclusiveness, about its fidelity, after all, to the values it proclaims in its textbooks. At a moment of economic calamity, international perplexity, political failure, and battered morale, America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness. It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’s name is Barack Obama.