Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Morning After

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.


Kelly O said...

Well said, my big brother. Well said.


Goldwater's Ghost said...

An eloquent dispatch in the wake of defeat. But I'm afraid where you and I will part company on this one is the seeming detachment with which you appear to be greeting policies and ideas that are not only in direct conflict with your sense of free market capitalism and individualism, but also have been tried both here and abroad to often disastrous results. Taxing the investment class at a higher rate does not make a country more productive...having the government control both the provision of and access to medical care does not result in either lower costs or higher quality care. We know this to be true. This isn't reflexive opposition; it's the benefit of our collective experience, hindsight and common sense. Free markets aren't the perfect solution, they are the only solution.

I too will keep a positive outlook for our nation and our new administration, mixed with a healthy dose of skepticism. I will not go gently into that good night.

Whew, typed all of that on a BlackBerry. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some loin girding to do.

Anonymous said...

Kelly Obama?

Ken said...

A 5% victory is hardly a mandate to govern from the far left. But I do see your point in that maybe we need to play with those policies to discard them to the ash heap once and for all. I guess things have to get worse before they get better.

Bill said...

Now it is time to pay attention to all of the quids owed. I for one will be looking to see if the president elect has the gravitas needed not for the short term but for the long haul. I expect he may deliver the state of the union address at the UN.

b bauer said...

Is everything best left to the free market? What about the military?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

GG--perhaps I was too subtle in my conciliatory message. The listing of things that I said "I will say so" to was designed to demonstrate the difficulty the Administration is going to have in moving me. Big job there on those things.

Smoothfur said...

Excellently and eloquently stated.

There is what is reputed to be an ancient Chinese curse that says “May you live in interesting times”. And, they can most definitely be much worse than we have experienced in the last few years. But I certainly hope not.

I hope that he and the Democrat congress do such an outstanding job that they make me want to vote them back into office.

Remember He will be "OUR" president.

Goldwater's Ghost said...

CW - Whew, thought the pod people had gotten to you too.

Bob Ackorello said...

"Is everything best left to the free market? What about the military?"

The armed citizen is the best example of free market military, though I do like what the boys at Blackwater are doing. Come to think of it, maybe it's time to issue letters of marque and reprisal. Show them Somali pirates what a couple of good ol boys in a well armed cigarette boat can do.

Mudge said...

bob ack... having just left a week hunting with a bunch of south mississippi buddies, i can assure you that no "good ol' boy" is going to do anything in a cigarette boat. no, those somali pirates will meet their makers shortly after first sighting a fleet of bass boats screaming over the horizon at them.

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