{Empty title} | The Nation

Help! I need advice from my fellow progressives. The election is six days away, and I am still extremely conflicted about whom I will be pulling the lever for. I voted for Dennis Kucinich in the primaries, because I felt that he was the candidate whose ideas best reflected my own. As a 27-year-old African-American, I cannot deny that the idea of a black man becoming the next president of the United States is inspiring, but that is simply not enough for me. I love Obama's apparent thirst for change and I can overlook our differences on certain issues--like his support for the FISA bill, the war in Afghanistan and even the death penalty, but it is his narrow-minded approach to the conflict between Israel and Palestine that I find most disturbing. In some ways I feel like a vote for him would be like voting for a George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. Sure, many people love and respect them, they are admired and revered by most Americans, but as a black woman I see them only as men who supported and participated in the maintenance of American slavery and apartheid, the same kind of apartheid that currently exists in Palestine. For some time now I have been leaning toward a vote for Nader or McKinney, but I do have a certain level of anxiety about the prospects of my vote contributing to success for McCain/Palin. Do I send a message by supporting a progressive third-party candidate, or do I vote for Obama with the hope that an Obama presidency will be easier to pull closer to the left than a McCain presidency? Help Help Help.