As a world traveller who has lived overseas during the majority of George Bush's presidency, I like to think I have a slightly different perspective on the upcoming US election. I've seen what other nationalities, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, think of America.
If people around the world were going to vote for the American president, I'd wager Obama would win with at least 90% of the vote.
In Africa and the Middle East, it would be pushing 100%, with only a few extremists voting for McCain because he would be better for their hate-America campaign.
Obama is what America needs to restore their shattered image. George Bush has taken the most beloved and respected country in the world and turned it into the most despised. John McCain, no matter how hard he tries to differentiate himself, is still a white Republican replacing another white Republican who really fucked things up.
If a president McCain pledged that any Americans remaining in Iraq should be treated as temporary guests, Iraqi people would have a hard time swallowing it. But if a President Obama spoke the same magic words of withdrawal and friendship, they just might. That's the key difference. Obama has a chance to do a lot of symbolic good at a time where it's sorely needed. The times of animosity, go it alone, with us or against us, stay the course and other pigheaded Bushisms needs to come to an end.
With McCain, it might come to an end politically.
But with Obama, it will come to an end politically and symbolically. That is why Americans who love their country, who hope their children can travel the world without claiming to be Canadian, and who hope for a better tomorrow, should vote for Barrack Obama.