Vote Barack Obama for President

Illustration by Christina Aushana/Guardian

So in case you’ve been hiding out with a certain al-Qaeda terrorist in his ridiculously unfindable cave-spot for the last eight years, you should know — we’re in deep. Men in business suits are ready to jump out their 100th-story windows, the public school system is being all but torched to pay for a war we can’t finish, the rest of the world hates us and we’ve done so many Palin impressions that our faces just might stick this way.

The cartoonish downfall of the United States was actually kind of hilarious at one point. But now that the George W. Bush coffee-table quotebook is on its eighth edition and the new Republican candidate — with one foot in the grave and all other limbs unusable — has chosen a sassy PTA mom as his running mate, it’s becoming difficult for even the most patriotic plumber to maintain that all-American superpower swagger without hallucinating up a couple weapon-of-mass-destruction shadows behind him on the sidewalk.

John McCain isn’t necessarily Bush’s ghost come back to haunt us in rodent shape-shift — after all, undying love for the same brand of uber-successful, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism aside, he can actually form quite a complete sentence and, well, has said a whole bunch of sentences about how he’s not like Bush at all. But at this point, we can all agree that it’s going to take something phenomenal to salvage the few scraps of reputation that do remain to our name.

Barack Obama is not denying what an astounding mess we’ve managed to make the last eight years (not to mention the last 50), and — with a brave new face that political leaders around the world are far less likely to plaster on their dartboards — has single-handedly restored a desire in even the most staunch anti-government types to dust off their Fourth-of-July flags and consider anew the rocket’s red glare. He’s ready to kick this McCain dude off the path, put the preach to practice and look damn good doing it; now it’s up to us to Barack the vote like only America can.