The truth is: we are in a war for the future of human civilization. We are fighting for a world in which destructive technology need not collide with fierce religious fundamentalism to annihilate us all; for a world in which dialogue across cultures and religions and regions (even within America) is essential if we are to survive. We need to win the argument in the developing world; we need to reach out and persuade the Muslim middle - especially the next generation in Iran and Iraq and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Western Europe - about the virtues of democracy and constitutionalism. We cannot do that if we trash our own values ourselves. It is self-defeating. We cannot be a beacon to the world until we have reformed ourselves. In this war, we are also fighting for an America that does not lose its soul in fighting our enemy. Just because we are fighting evil does not mean we cannot ourselves succumb to it. That is what my Christian faith teaches me - that no nation has a monopoly on virtue, and that every generation has to earn its own integrity. I fear and believe we have given away far too much - and that, while this loss is permanent, it can nonetheless be mitigated by a new start, a new direction, a new statement that the America the world once knew and loved is back.
It will not be easy. The world will soon remember why it resents America as well as loves it. But until this unlikely fellow with the funny ears and strange name and exotic biography emerged on the scene, I had begun to wonder if it was possible at all. I had almost given up hope, and he helped restore it. That is what is stirring out there; and although you are welcome to mock me for it, I remain unashamed. As someone once said, in the unlikely story of America, there is never anything false about hope. Obama, moreover, seems to bring out the best in people, and the calmest, and the sanest. He seems to me to have a blend of Midwestern good sense, an intuitive understanding of the developing world that is as much our future now as theirs', an analyst's mind and a poet's tongue. He is human. He is flawed. He will make mistakes. His passivity and ambiguity are sometimes weaknesses as well as strengths.
But there is something about his rise that is also supremely American, a reminder of why so many of us love this country so passionately and are filled with such grief at what has been done to it and in its name. I endorse Barack Obama because I will not give up on America, because I believe in America, and in her Constitution and decency and character and strength.
And the world needs that America now as much as it ever has. Can we start that healing, that rebirth, tomorrow?
Yes. We. Can.
Won't you join the oft-misguided-but-in-this-case-the-I've-seen-the-light** Mr. Sullivan and cast your vote for change?
* A shout out to my friend, Lee Poulsen, who brought this endorsement to my attention. Thanks, Lee!
** Truthfully? There are three demographics of Republicans I honestly struggle to understand: Republicans of color, gay Republicans, and women Republicans. Seriously. I mean, what has the Republican Party done for you to ensure your rights in the last 60 years?! Really?