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Obama candidacy represents progress, true leadership and American ideals

Everything the classical notion of the United States represents has been antithetical to the norm. Born from the fire of totalitarian European monarchies and book-burning theocracies, the U.S. has traditionally rejected antiquated dogma that dominates and oppresses citizens. Once again, we can show our belief in the fundamental late-renaissance values drafted by U.S. Constitution Author James Madison by rejecting the norm, and voting for something radically different. The candidacy of Barack Obama represents all that is just in American society. U.S. history is littered with injustices. Slavery, the Indian wars, the oppression of women and intolerant immigration practices are only a few of the indignities our nation has embraced in the past. Yet, each time, the independent and rational collective intellect of the citizenry grasped the need for an end to intolerance and ethnocentrism. Now, this election has potential to finally break down one of the most impenetrable walls of oppression, one of the ugliest festering scars on our national character racism. If we as a people truly want to maintain our traditions and our values, we must embrace cultural evolution we must embrace change. Barack Obama is a superior candidate. His mind, rhetoric and his background are examples that the American dream is not lost. If elected, Obama would represent a relative outsider who lacks old-money and East-coast-elite connections that are typical to most electable presidential candidates. Obama correctly foresaw the religious civil war in Iraq and in May he delivered one of the most important and nuanced speeches on U.S.racial relations in history. He is a man who can maneuver the complex maze of diverse global cultures. On the other hand, the John McCain persona we all knew is now dead. The maverick hasbeen slain by political necessity, by the political need to unify an extremist base that embraces intolerance and cultural stagnancy. How can someonebe a maverick while being advised by GOP party power-brokers, or is Karl Rove Mr. Moderate 2008? The intellectual wing of the GOP has been pushing the neo- conservative fantasy of the Unitary Executive for years, and in thelast eight they have made huge gains, greatly damaging the carefullyconstructed Jeffersonian balance of power. Rove doesnt believe in a presidency, he believes in a monarchy, where the poor toil in order to subsidize the excesses of the bourgeois. According to Rove and the conservatives, who needs corporate regulation? All corporations have everyones interest at heart already, dont they? The conservatives must be in total denial of reality. Yes, McCain has bucked the system at times in the past, but he has also fallen into line more often than not. He is a man regularly described by his advisors as an immovable object, or steadfast, terms that dont scream open-minded. After Bush II, do we really need another chief executive who lets emotion and his gut feelings stand in the way of rational decision-making? McCain has repeatedly supported staunch right-wing free-market economic policies which have put our 401ks in ruins and led to the devastation of our economy. Even our life insurance policies, once considered rock-solid, are now at risk, weve heard this week. Such lack of regulation over the past eight years has allowed corporations to fabricate complex Collateralized Debt Obligation contracts highly leveraged, packaged mortgage instruments, sold back and forth between institutions as investments. These CDOs, which lost their worth at an exponential rate in a falling housing market, were too complex for even financial professionals to comprehend their extreme risk. Yes, the conservative principle of free markets and de-regulation turned what would have been a minor housing-market downturn into a global economic calamity. The free markets have proven incapable of dealing with health care issues as well. Some 40 million citizens, well over 10 percent of the population, are without health insurance, only one sickness away from bankruptcy. Right here in Warrensburg, Thurman and Chester, you have neighbors that are working to support their families, but dont have adequate health care coverage. Others without insurance have suffered devastating losses. Thank goodness many of you have come to their aid when theyve needed help and support. Instead of giving people greater access to health care, the conservatives are responsible for turning it into a luxury. It seems the rights of the HMOs and drug companies are far more important to them than the health of the citizenry. Also, under the Republican administration, the earnings gap between the wealthy and the working class has grown to its widest point in history. Furthermore, McCain supports the constitutional catastrophecuriously labeled the Patriot Act. Apparently, a free and open society does not align with the principles of a party who has been hijacked by the extreme right, who just cant stand it when us common folk read books not approved by them. In a time where our image abroad has been devastated, our middle-class eroded, we need a high-minded, probably brilliant, level-headed leaderand McCain is neither of these. But a vote for Obama would be a vote for the American dream, a vote to once again reclaim our nations place as the cannonball that knocks down the walls of ancient dogmatic oppression. A vote for Obama is a vote for the future and a rejection of an ugly past and, a vote well, systematically American. Jonathan Alexander is a correspondent for the Adirondack Journal. He can be reached at denpubs@denpubs.com

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