Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Finished

Obama is the next President of the United States of America. I sure hope he is ready for it.

When I cast my vote a few weeks ago, I reluctantly picked Obama, generally over McCain’s poor handling of the economic crisis and selecting Sarah Palin as his VP. The fact that the war in Iraq is winding down, and that the democratically elected government there is holding, allowed me to overlook Obama’s opportunistic and unprincipled stance on Iraq over the last few years. I still have major reservations concerning Obama’s opportunistic internationalism, and my piece on his foreign policy pronouncements holds.

I find the entire “hope” and “change” message to be nothing more than a very calculated political ploy, yet it has resonated with many. Those who believe Obama will radically change the way government operates, or believe that the enthusiasm the world apparently shares for his candidacy will translate into major international adjustments, is going to be gravely saddened soon enough.

Perhaps every generation needs to have a figure they raise up to unrealistic standards, and when they fail to meet such lofty goals and dreams, it provides the catalyst needed to create a whole new generation of rational minded men and women.

McCain gave a great concession speech, and even though he didn’t receive my vote in the end, I still have a great respect for this man. Not just because he was a decorated war hero. Not just because he worked across the political divide for decades for the good of the nation. Those things, among many are why he is good man.

But when it came to Iraq, when most politicians of lesser stature were so willing to surrender the country to theocrats and fascists, McCain publicly and vocally defended the mission there, and would not yield in his public support for it. He prominently said he would sacrifice his political career to win the war there, and that took more fortitude than most politicians possessed, particularly when things were going so poorly in Iraq.

However, today belongs to Obama, and to the American people. I don’t mean for that to imply, as many liberal commentators do, that I would be less proud of America if they elected John McCain. If Obama had lost the election; it wouldn’t have been because America is a racist, stupid country. There are numerous reasons to be fearful of what an Obama presidency will do for this country and the world. To slander all McCain voters as reactionary racists is so brainless; attempting to dispel the very argument gives it more credence than it’s worth.

But America should be proud of this moment. Within forty years, we went from a racially segregated society where blacks were second class citizens, to electing a black man to lead us and the free world.

That alone, says a lot about the malleability of the United States. It’s a testament to its radical foundation, and its ability to so rapidly and deeply change its direction.

4 comments:

E.D. Kain said...

Well said, Roland. What an election season! I agree that McCain's speech was great, and I think he would have been a great President, but I have high hopes for Obama as well.

It was, without doubt, time for a change. So now what?

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

very good post roland.

Daniel Stark said...

Good post. I agree with the historic nature of the election and that it's a good thing for this country. Yet I think I'm a little more worried than you are of his administration. Let's hope he puts a bunch of DLC members in his cabinet.

Roland Dodds said...

I hope to see more DLC members in his administration as well. He has named Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, who while a Democratic activist, also supported the war in Iraq, and had argued that Bush needed to explain the rational for it better.