Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Finally Over

After two long years of looking toward the day when we would choose someone to replace the awful Bush regime in Washington, we have finally reached the finish line. Fortunately, we have a man who will try to end the mess in Iraq, fight the real war in Afghanistan, and begin to try to restore our standing in the world. I believe that the simple act of choosing Obama went a long way toward the latter.

I know that at this moment there are millions who are bemoaning the election of the first African-American president and who are already planning for the worst. The right-wing pundits are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the trash talk and false accusations that lie ahead. (There are also millions of dollars for them to put in their bank accounts as a result.) The right wing evangelists are already writing their sermons for this Sunday, accusing Obama of being a wolf in sheep's clothing, who will ramp up the baby killing at federal expense and make Islam the national religion. What better way to keep yourself in the good graces of your congregation and get the big raises? The lies of the campaign will not end, they will simply become the norm.

Both the acceptance and concession speeches last night were statesmanlike. McCain appears to know how to lose gracefully. We will find out if he does, indeed, reach across the aisle to help fix what is wrong with the country. I, personally, believe that he will. I feel that he may well return to being the old McCain. At the same time, we will also find out if Obama tries to be every one's president. I was chagrined that McCain's supporters could not put their hatred aside long enough to at least act civilized for a moment, booing every time Obama's name was mentioned. At least Obama's supporters in Chicago, showed grace and good will, when McCain's name was mentioned. There may have been some boos, but they were not evident.

It was sad to see most of the states of the old Confederacy be the nucleus of McCain's support. That fact shows much of what this election was all about. The Republican party's base is now primarily in the South, such a complete turnabout from 1860. What would Lincoln say about that? Besides those long time Republicans, the party is now in the home of extremist racists, and right wing fundamentalist Christians. The only issues they seemed to be concerned about were abortion and Obama's color. The sad thing is that there are so many of them.

The Republican party is in shambles at the moment. There is a vacuum waiting to be filled, and we can hope that the extremists in the party will become marginalized as a result of this election, when the party is so out of touch with so many. I keep hearing Sarah Palin's name bantered about as the next leader, and I can't help but wonder what Republicans are thinking. Surely, they aren't serious. You can't take the albatross who helped bring you to your knees and make it the beacon of the future. I suppose if you are the fundamentalist Christian element which has only one or two issues, you might follow her blindly. However, when so many leaders and former leaders left to vote for Obama and stated that one of their major reasons was McCain's selection of Palin, one has to wonder where the party will go from here.

The Democrats should not take this election too lightly. Many voters stepped across the aisle to vote for Obama. Many young people, who were voting for the first time, chose to vote Democratic. This is not the time for the Democrats to step too far to the left. They must turn toward the center, just as the Republicans must reverse their race to the far right. Young people and others who are taken with Obama will be easily disillusioned, if he is unable to follow through on his policies.

Despite what the right wing says, Obama is not that liberal. He has some pretty strong opinions on family, hard work, and hand outs. He worked hard and his grandparents worked hard to get him where he is today, and he doesn't think others should be any different. He has stated that over and over. Turn off the TV, raise your kids right. Be involved in their lives. Work hard for what you want. Those are some of his values. I hope he is given the chance to put his ideas and policies in place. If that is the case, the country will have to be better off, four years from now than it is today.

1 comment:

Doug B said...

I certainly believe you have nailed it. I fully expect President Obama to get the same treatment from the vast right-wing conspiracy as did President Clinton. Sad it is that some elements of our electorate prefer fear to hope. Now what about the patriotism of those who are proclaiming nothing but doom and gloom over Obama's election?