I am going to admit from the start that my decision was made on a single issue, as soon as I knew who the nominees were.
It was the occupation in Iraq that made my decision. I decided to vote for Obama because he wants to end that occupation.
I didn't know much about Barack Obama when I decided that he was getting my vote. Quite frankly, since all of the Democrats in the primaries supported an end to the occupation of Iraq, any of them would have gotten my vote anyway.
Now, things are different. Now, I know a lot more about Barack Obama.
There are a lot of smears out there about my chosen candidate. One of those smears is that he got into Harvard through affirmative action. I don't know the circumstances of his entry into Harvard, but I do know this: affirmative action doesn't make you the President of the Harvard Law Review, and affirmative action doesn't earn you a magna cum laude status at graduation. Obama earned those two honors through his own wit and effort.
Another smear--a smear that shouldn't be a smear at all--is that Barack Obama is a Muslim. He's not, but as Colin Powell pointed out, should being a Muslim prevent American children from dreaming that they could run for President someday? In any case, one thing is clear: Obama supports the separation of state and church, so no matter what his religion happens to be, he's not going to try to establish it as the national religion. He's also pro-science, which will be a welcome change from the last eight years.
As an aside on the whole Muslim thing: for people who believe it, are you fucking stupid? It's either that, or you're completely ignorant of Islam, or both. A devout Muslim will usually wear a beard. His wife will have a head covering, at the very least. He will stop to pray three times a day. He won't eat pork. Obama is so obviously NOT a Muslim that it hurts my head when people make this comment.
I like the fact that Obama will roll back the Bush tax cuts, increasing taxes on the people who can afford it most, while giving tax relief to people in the middle class, like me.
Obama will bring back diplomacy as a major tool in international relations, rather than saber-rattling.
Obama understands the value of education from early childhood through college. I like the offer of community service in exchange for a college education.
I have a lot more reasons I like Obama, but I have to go vote now. I will end by saying that for the first time in my life, I will be voting for someone who has inpired me to vote for him and inspired me in general, rather than the lesser of two evils. It's a great feeling.
GO VOTE! OBAMA '08!!
P.S.: If you're thinking about voting for McCain, please to to http://www.therealmccain.com and see why that decision isn't a good one.