It appears at this point, 10:15 PM EST, that Mr. Obama will be the 44th President of the United States. For what it’s worth, I offer him my congratulations. Let no one call me a sore loser!
We Republicans need to do a lot of soul-searching, and reestablish priorities. Hopefully, we will learn our lessons, and come back in 4 years with viable, electable candidates. This election was lost due in no small part to Republican intransigence on a number of issues, and their pandering to the ultraconservative wing (as opposed to pandering to groups that add up to a majority of the electorate!) In the last weeks of the campaign, Mr. McCain (finally) did an admirable job of getting his message across, but it was too little, too late. He could not compete against the financial crisis, the hatred of Mr. Bush, the adulation of Mr. Obama, and the juggernaut that is the Obama organization.
Mr. Obama’s campaign was the best-run in the history of this country. It appealed to the Democratic base, as well as a huge sector of the dissatisfied citizens. They embraced every aspect of technology, from YouTube to text messaging. (I still get texts from the campaign, having signed up to find out Mr. Obama’s VP pick.) The GOTV drives, the enfranchisement of minority voters can only be considered a good thing for the future. However, it cannot be denied that the media was totally behind Mr. Obama’s candidacy, with all that entails.
I must admit that I still have significant misgivings as to how Mr. Obama will perform. I think no one here believes that the tax increases will be limited to the Clinton era levels for those making over $250,000. Where that ends up no one can even guess. Therefore, I am cutting my spending to the bone. No expensive vacations, no new cars, no purchase that isn’t absolutely necessary. And after I fulfill the pledges I have already made, all my charitable giving is on hold.
I am still quite concerned that we are not getting in Mr. Obama what we think. I remain worried about the level of adoration, especially for someone with a very thin resume. I worry that Mr. Obama promised too many things to too many people to begin to fulfill many of them. Many of Mr. Obama’s programs will not be enacted. The middle class will not benefit as much as many expect. I do hope and pray that he will be as pragmatic as many declare him to be. I’ll also pray for him to be granted wisdom, empathy, and understanding, and maybe a significant shift to the right.
And I will pray for the nation as well. Let us pat each other on the back, and go on with our lives. Let the celebrations be civil, and the pity-parties few. Let no one feel disenfranchised, and no one feel entitled by tonight’s results.
The overall raw vote at this point is nearly evenly divided, but because of the wisdom (or lack thereof?) of the founding fathers, the electoral vote will be much more skewed. Still, this means that at least half of our fellow citizens believe that Mr. Obama was the better choice. Did they do so out of love for their country? Were they so disgusted with the present administration that they wanted someone, anyone, as different from the Republicans as possible? Did they do so out of racial guilt or pride? Did they do so because they thought they would be financially rewarded? Historians will be analyzing this for the next hundred years, and beyond. Probably, we’ll never know.
We all need to keep in mind that CHANGE can be good or bad. Let us pray tonight for it to be good.
In jest, I posted “DALAI FOR PRESIDENT 2012….ummmm 2016?” on on the congratulatory AuntMinnie.com thread. A few folks came back cheering, suggesting I run with MISTRAD, another conservative character (who is far better spoken than I could hope to be.) Hmmmm.. Dalai/Misty? Maybe the better choice would be Misty/Dalai! Nahhh.. I’m not cut out for politics. I come across OK when I can sit back and type (and retype and re-re-type) my thoughts. I suppose I could be trained up to sound good with a teleprompter, though.
A more liberal fellow named Thor paid me a complement really that really struck me: “. . .Dalai, if you had written as eloquently as you just did, you might have had a chance to change my vote.”
My posts on the topic of Mr. Obama have been borne mostly out of fear. That is an emotion that drives us to be shrill and strident, especially to those who do not share or understand just what it is we are afraid of. I don’t have to outline what I was afraid of, nor do I really have to state that I’m not yet convinced my fears were unfounded. Only time will tell.
I watched Mr. McCain’s concession speech, as well as Mr. Obama’s acceptance speech. Frankly, I had gone to sleep when my wife turned on the TV in the bedroom during the latter. I found myself really, really wanting to believe what I was hearing. And please forgive me, but this quote came to mind as I drifted off again:
“He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”
I’ve still got some issues to deal with, obviously. But again, only time will tell, and only time will heal. May God bless America, and especially Mr. Obama. He’s going to need it. We’re all going to need it.