One of the finest and most eloquent endorsements yet, from deep in the Deep South....think of what this means only forty years after the Civil Rights struggles in Mississippi....at the onset about six months ago, I joined many Obama groups in Mississippi, hopeful that I could inspire and help a few Mississippians to write letters to the editor, just so that they would appear, but down the road, hopeful that they would influence a few editors to write endorsements for Obama. Never did I dream that the paper in the capitol of Mississippi would endorse him, but here, they have, so Bravo! and let's send a letter to the editorial page editor of this paper, thanking them for this endorsement!
President - Barack Obama
Gen. Colin Powell said it best when he endorsed Sen. Barack Obama on "Meet the Press": "I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change."
Every good reason, and there are many, to vote for Obama on Nov. 4 falls under that "generational change" umbrella. As Powell said, he is the hopeful change as opposed to the fearful status quo that Sen. John McCain represents.
McCain is a certifiable American hero and deserves respect, and we hope he stays "mavericky" in the Senate, where he provides a much-needed "opposition" voice. But that voice is not one of national leadership, as the petty squabbling in his campaign, his choice of Sarah Palin as backup president, and his use of fear-baiting and divisive strategies and untruths in his campaign clearly show. But this endorsement is not against McCain; it is for Obama.
Barack Obama has inspired a nation in a way that no one who works at the Jackson Free Press remembers seeing a national leader do. He is willing to stand for his ideals, even when he knows they will be twisted against him. And most importantly, he is that generational change-with new ideas, calm resolve, and the welcome willingness to buck failed approaches and policies of the last generation and the last century.
The greatest reason to vote for Obama is a toss-up between foreign policy and economics. On foreign policy, he has been on the right side of history-unlike most members of Congress. As a new senator, he stood against what was a politically popular war (the JFP appreciates that courage; as a new newspaper, we did the same). He now wants to get us out of a war with no end in sight that is sucking up our resources and killing our family members, even as he wants to put more resources into apprehending the man who actually led the attacks on American people on Sept. 11. This is smart, and we all know it.
Perhaps more important, he wants to keep us from going into dumb wars again. He is willing to buck the conventional "wisdom" of the baby-boomer generation of leaders who do not believe it is wise to actually try to talk to our enemies before we attack them. Like most of us, he knows that a 21st-century world needs a U.S. president who is going to build bridges and alliances-including against enemies who cannot be stopped diplomatically-and repair the massive harm that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld did to our good name. He knows that because we've done it one way for a long time, it doesn't mean we continue failed traditions.
On the other hand, McCain wants to return us to Cold War-era times with his pet project, the League of Democracies, that would kick Russia out of the G-8, and leave out China altogether, while inviting India in. We're no fan of the Chinese government (or its faulty products and poor human rights record) over this way, but some of us at the JFP remember well the "who's bigger" approach to warring with the old Soviet Union.
We need a leader who will seek out global alliances and conversations, and not just with (mostly) European countries, such as McCain's plan would do. In this dangerous world and in the quest to turn back and prevent radical terrorists (Islamic and otherwise), the U.S. needs to cultivate more allies, not more enemies, and Obama has the temperament to make that happen. As for McCain, if his temperment is such that he cannot look Obama in the eye, how will fare among actual enemies of the United States?
The economy is easy. We also cannot afford four more years of Bush-McCain policies; that is not just a sound bite. In the run-up to this campaign, McCain clearly bragged to FOX News about voting with Bush "90 percent of the time." If that's not the "real McCain," then why did he compromise his integrity?
The middle class needs help. Small businesses need help. The American people need help. And here's the "straight talk--we've got to generate tax revenue to offset the reckless spending of the past eight years. This will happen through smart health-care initiatives and tax cuts targeted to those the hardest hit by today's economic collapse. It is not "socialistic" to target tax relief beyond the wealthiest Americans, which was Bush's approach and is now McCain's. "Trickle down" did not work-although plenty of the spoils went to shareholders and CEOs of the companies getting the most tax relief and incentives. Small businesses that make less than $250,000 a year in profits will benefit from Obama's tax cuts. And people clearing more than $250,000 per year can afford a return to Clinton-era tax levels. And even McCain's economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin admitted Tuesday that Americans' current employer insurance policies are better than McCain's plan.
Mississippians also cannot afford the "hatchet" that John McCain would bring to any kind of federal funding that helps our state. He would "freeze spending" in his words, and stop even the kinds of "pork" that helped rebuild the Gulf Coast after Katrina. Yes, earmarks will require a sharp scalpel, but McCain's no-pork-never-ever approach will hurt Mississippi severely.
Almost by coincidence, Obama offers the U.S. a poignant fringe benefit: This inspirational man happens to be African American. His race is no reason to endorse him or vote for him-we sure didn't endorse Democrats Al Sharpton or Frank Melton based on their race-but it does mean that today's toddlers of all backgrounds will grow up believing that they can be president, and that is no small feat in a country still plagued by race issues, as the McCain-Palin campaign has shown. It is also a way for our country and our state to show and say, "We're in this together."
We believe strongly that Barack Obama will be an amazing U.S. president who will help mend division, partisan and otherwise. Please vote for the future on Nov. 4. Lasting solutions are found in hope, never fear.