By Reid Cherlin, GQ
Are you a Democrat feeling uninspired about Obama? Don't worry: famous and/or smart people are at this very moment mustering to rescue you from the doldrums. Every day from now until Election Day, the Dave Eggers-founded website 90 Days, 90 Reasons will unveil a new persuasive essay, from the likes of Jesse Eisenberg and Ben Gibbard, as to why you should get off your rear and help re-elect the prez. It's actually pretty good, as these things go.
There is an established pattern, it seems, where high-minded liberals declare themselves fatally disappointed with their candidate, only to realize collectively that the stakes are too high to "sit this one out." This usually coincides with a determination that the campaign -- whichever campaign we're talking about -- isn't making the case effectively, and that the liberals must take up this work themselves, lobbying each other and conveying the urgency of the race through earnest Facebook posts, slick graphic design, and home-designed merchandise. As you can probably tell, I find the whole phenomenon a little annoying. (This may have something to do with the fact that for a long time, I was one of those people always being told by friends in other professions that Obama has "a communications problem.") But it is an inherent part of being liberal to find authority and uniformity repellant, and it may be that progressives will always need to feel that their motivation comes from within, rather than above, before they can be counted upon to get involved.
In that case, you probably aren't going to do much better than 90 Days, 90 Reasons. It seems unpretentious and serious in a straightforward way: Roger Ebert argues for Obamacare in light of his own battle with cancer for example. Plus, Eisenberg took the time to write his from a yurt in Mongolia. So you know he means it.