I know it seems like the time for your vote is a long time from now but I thought I’d get your attention right now. I’m going to get right to the point. If you were considering not voting for Barack Obama, I’d like you to consider changing your mind and voting for him. Don’t worry, I have some thoughts as to why you should vote for him – this isn’t just a “Do it because I say so!” kind of argument. Okay, here goes:

The War
Yes, I am aware that I should start off with something a little bit more upbeat, but this is really important so I’m going to start with it. No need to start with a dozen appetizers when you know that the main course of your meal is going to be your favorite food in the world, am I right? Back to serious business.

As you may be aware, the candidate against whom Senator Barack Obama was not initially against the invasion of Iraq. Not only was she not against it but she actually voted for it. It wasn’t until a few years later that she changed positions and suddenly realized what our dear friend Senator Barack Obama knew from the beginning : going into Iraq would be a mistake.

Let us reflect on some of the words that he used during a speech he made in the fall of 2002 regarding the possibility of invading Iraq.

I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Again – I emphasize this because it is of great importance – Senator Obama made this speech before the invasion. He knew from the very beginning that it would be a rash and unwise move politically and economically to go into war with Iraq when we hadn’t even finished what we had started to do in Afghanistan – have we since then finished what we started to do in Afghanistan?

We have not – the Taliban continues to kill and harass the people of Afghanistan. Not only was Senator Obama against the war from the beginning but he will bring home all of our troops from Iraq by 2009 – and that’s something we absolutely need to happen. Let us look once more at his speech.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

Let us consider what he said and what has happened in the last five years – can you believe it has been five years already? It has been five years, it has cost the United States nearly five hundred billion dollars since the start – and it keeps going up every single day, and it has also cost countless lives from people of all over the world. It has been shown that the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda has in fact been strengthened, directly related to the United States invading Iraq.

Isn’t it time we have a commander in chief that will bring our troops home – and who better to do that than someone who never wanted them there at all?

It’s The Economy
You’re surely aware of the downward direction in which our economy seems to be headed. A lot of that has to do with the massive amount of money that our country is spending on a completely needless war that could be better spent at home, strengthening the economy in any number of ways. Another problem is that some of the richest people in the country get the best tax breaks, while those people in the lower and middle classes struggle to survive.

This is an absolute injustice, one that Senator Obama plans to correct by getting rid of the enormous tax cuts for the wealthy that – let’s face it, they don’t need. Whether you have forty million dollars or thirty million dollars, you’re still quite comfortable. Not being sure if you’re going to feed your family is an entirely different matter. The tax cuts will instead go to the lower and middle class people who need it the most.

Caring about Health
Senator Obama’s opposition seems to think that she is the only person who has a viable plan for Healthcare that would work in this country. Let us not forget that when she was the First Lady she also thought that she had a viable plan for Universal Healthcare and well, it has been 16 years since then and we don’t seem to have Universal Healthcare. Her plan seems to be that absolutely everyone will miraculously get healthcare. It almost seems as though she is trying to revive the Universal Healthcare plan from when she was First Lady. How would it be more feasible now than it was then?

Senator Obama has a plan for Healthcare that would in fact cover everyone – it’s just that people in the position to pay for it would have to pay for it – though not nearly as much as they are paying now. To me this seems like the most viable plan of them all – Healthcare that actually has a reasonable funding source.

To finish off, I’d like you to consider the electability issue which is actually one of the most important issues out there. If they are compared to the Republican frontrunner, who would win? All signs point to Senator Obama by leaps and bounds.

What is the point of putting someone up to run for president if every poll states that there is a good chance they would lose? The time for change is now – we need Senator Obama to be the Democratic candidate for President.