I cast my vote for Barack Obama in California's primary this morning.
“When I am this party's nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don't like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture — because it is never ok… I will end the war in Iraq… I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century: nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.”
I’m for Obama knowing perfectly well that, as Bill Clinton suggested, it’s a “roll of the dice”. A roll of the dice for Democrats, for progressives, for those of us who’ve fought so hard against the right-wing frames that Obama sometimes (sometimes craftily, sometimes naively) deploys. Because I think a Hillary Clinton candidacy will be another game of inches, yielding—at best—another four or eight years of knifework in the dark. Because I think an Obama candidacy might actually shake up the whole gameboard, energize good people, create room and space for real change.
Because he seems to know something extraordinarily important, something so frequently missing from progressive politics in this country, in this time: how to hearten people. Because when I watch him speak, I see fearful people becoming brave.
We've been afraid for too long, and it's cost us dearly. Karl Rove and George Bush and Dick Cheney will have many disastrous legacies, but one of the most despicable and enduring will be how they used fear to deeply and deliberately divide our country.
It's going to be a huge challenge for our next president to heal this nation, and end the Culture of Fear that's been created by the Bush Administration. I believe that Barack Obama is the best candidate to do that, and I was proud to vote for him today.
It felt so good to cast a vote that I was proud of, in support of someone, instead of resigning myself to voting for the lesser of two evils.