Sen. Barack Obama is my choice for president.
I'll even tell you why.
It's because of his thoughtfulness, his intelligence, his rhetoric — all of which suggest an approach to governance markedly different than that of President George W. Bush. It's because of his middle-class driven tax plan, his health care goals, his emphasis on renewable rather than drillable energy — all of which suggest, judging from history, more prosperity and a better lot for the average American.
Aside for my enthusiasm for Obama, John McCain's campaign has made it impossible for me to vote for him. The Sarah Palin for VP pick was disconcerting, but what sealed it was how he traded his considerable honor for a shot at political success. Slimed by Bush in 2000, McCain turned around and hired the same folks to slime Obama in 2008. And it's a shame.
But why isn't this announcement in Second Thoughts, out there for all of Tracy to read in real newsprint? Why, when the call of history begs me to write something, anything to mark a watershed election? Why, when there is only one scheduled run of my column before Election Day?
Well, it's because what we say in Tracy doesn't matter. Not when it comes to the presidential election.
We have the Electoral College to thank.
Without it, the Central Valley would be a hotbed of activism on the presidential scale. In a traditionally conservative region with a growing liberal population, there would be big efforts here to drive more people to the polls. Under a different system, votes in the Central Valley could help expand Obama's lead or help McCain make up crucial ground.
But because of our archaic College, we knew four years ago that unless San Francisco and Los Angeles sunk into the Pacific Ocean, California was going to send its overall support to whatever human was running as a Democrat.
As long as the Electoral College is in place, what I write — and what you read — in Tracy will have no impact on a presidential race.
I'm crossing my fingers for the day that all of Tracy's political-minded have a real impact on the presidential election. Too bad that more than 200 years of history is working squarely against us.