A Letter to a Young Obama Supporter

Senator Obama's success is a testament to the country's long, uphill struggle to deliver on the promise of the Declaration of Independence's radical statement that all men are created equal. It is thrilling for those of us who deeply believe in the promise of this country to inspire the world and model a way forward for its young or not-yet born democracies to see Barack Obama burst upon the scene and soar so high. It is entirely possible to be proud of the country for nominating Senator Obama, even as you work hard to defeat him -- just as it is possible to admire him as a man while knowing that he is not qualified to be the president.

Indeed, he lacks even the barest minimum of life experiences needed for the job. Though his intentions will be good, his failure in the Oval Office is a near certainty because he is simply not ready - cannot be ready-to be president, and the failures that will certainly follow his taking the oath of office could - indeed, almost certainly would-- devastate the country.

I recognize that lots of very smart, very accomplished people are backing Senator Obama, and they do not agree with my conclusion about his experience level, or are very good at hiding that disagreement. But that doesn't make them right or even persuasive. They ought not to be able to avoid -- and you shouldn't avoid asking them and yourself -- the first hard question: Is Barack Obama anywhere near ready to be President of the United States in a time of war and economic uncertainty? And the second hard question: What if he's not and he wins anyway?