It is a glorious morning. The country I love with an almost manic devotion renewed itself last night as required by our Founders. Two incredible examples of the American spirit--one, a brave, bent survivor of the gulag and the other a brilliant, young self-made man--gave everything they could to lead an often ungrateful citizenry. We are most-favored here, to have had these two men rise to the top of their parties so that they might present in stark terms, a menu of choices for the American people. And they have chosen.
To believe that last night's victory was anything but a ringing mandate is to ignore reality. President-elect Obama has earned the right to govern as he has indicated. Debates about whether this is a center-left or center-right country are interesting but irrelevant; it is a country in which the policies of President-elect Obama have priority over everything else, and it is as it should be. Elections matter, and this one will have great consequence.
I may disappoint some of my more committed Conservative readers when I say with all sincerity that I am open to having my mind changed. I would surrender my qualifications as a sentient being were I to reflexively oppose everything President Obama proposes, simply because I opposed his election. His ideas have prevailed, so it is time now to see if they will work. If taxing the investment class at a higher rate makes this country more productive, I will say so. If the federal government taking on even more of the share of the nation's medical system turns out to be effective and efficient, I will say so. If sitting down with the leaders of Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, et al increases our position of power in the world, I will say so. If tuition tax credits actually make college educations more affordable, I will say so. If the appointment of judges who see the Constitution as a "living document" results in a freer and fairer America, I will say so. If the removal of our troops from Iraq in 16 months or less leaves Iraq more stable than it is now, I will say so. If the price of calm in the restive Middle East is a diminished commitment to Israel, I will say so.
I am prepared to have my mind changed, and I ardently hope that it will be. I am energized by the election of this man, energized to question beliefs I've held deeply for years and energized to defend them if necessary. I am energized also by the symbolism of his election and the chapter that it clearly closes. The merchants of victimhood must find other employment, and those who would lay this victory at the feet of our nation's African-American community must account for the fact that Obama out-earned both Kerry and Gore in white votes. The playing field is level, let there be no mistake about that.
I will be called upon by this Administration to part with more of my income than I do now, and I will do so without rancor. My fellow citizens gathered yesterday and determined that I and others like me should sacrifice so that the nation as a whole will prosper. I will not overplay the degree of my sacrifice; we are talking dollars here, not blood. But there is an element of the experimental in this whole proposition, and I am willing to participate.
I am hopeful, and I am enthusiastic. I look for great things from President Obama, because like any incoming Captain under whom I served in the Navy, he does not have to earn my trust and confidence. It is his to lose.