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Jumping on the bandwagon? Hardly.

It is true that earlier in the election cycle I had endorsed Ralph Nader for President. This is because I believed that at the time he offered the best possible policies for the country. After all, he was the only candidate who would have implemented single payer health care and attempted to kick out the massive agricultural pork we have been handing out. Those two issues I considered to be the major differences between him and Barack Obama and John McCain. Though Nader had no realistic shot of winning, a vote for him would be a vote for my conscience back when I realized that whether I voted in New Jersey or Illinois my vote wouldn't matter.

As time went on, however, Nader's anti-free trade position began to eat away at me. This might have thrown my vote towards John McCain, except that now I was left with 3 candidates, none of whom I agreed with perfectly on the issues: I agreed with Nader on health care and special interests but not economic or foreign policy, I agreed with Obama on special interests and foreign policy, but not on economic policy or health care, and I agreed with John McCain on economic policy and special interests, but not on foreign policy and health care. In a sense, all of these issues were a wash.

But with the coming of the economic crisis I realized something: these issues don't matter as much as the expectations of who we elect. Voting for Nader would not symbolize the necessary direction this country needs to go in. Voting for McCain would send the wrong message to our allies abroad. Voting for Obama would both create a new direction that I can generally agree with and reinforce our world standing abroad. A vote for Obama would be a vote for calmer economic times and a better foreign policy.

It was based on that alone that I am voting for Barack Obama (assuming, of course, that my voter registration actually got through). I am endorsing him for change we need.