The 44th President of the United States
In the interest of fair play, I will begin this new chapter in our collective history with a healthy dose of magnanimity; a quality that has been in short supply among the Left, particularly the media, during the nearly 8 years of the Bush Administration. I would also add that the degree of hatred toward President Bush was tawdry, shameful and wholly undeserved. This was a good man who put his country's best interests ahead of his personal popularity and paid a terrible price. He has kept us safe for 7 years and changed the face if the Middle East for the better - a feat that even the most optimistic among us doubted was even possible. I believe that history will judge him well, providing that history is not written by the small -minded and short sighted verbal snipers that have come to define "journalism" in contemporary America.
First, I want to say that I think that it's a positive development that Americans have elected a black man, African-American (or whatever is the currently acceptable description) as President of the United States. I think that it proves that America as "an inherently racist society" is a not only a myth, but a destructive slur against our great country.
Speaking of slurs, the title of this post is Mr. Obama's full name. If you consider it a slur, you should get over it - it's his legal name. From the beginning, Obama has overtly used his ethnicity and somewhat exotic Kenyan roots as a selling point. He has been surrounded by a mystique and, in my opinion, that mystique has been central to his appeal in the eyes of his supporters. Had he been "Jerome Wilson" from Cleveland, would he be where he is today? My guess would be no. In short, if you want the mystique, it's all or nothing.
On the subject of mystique, I also have to say that the weird imagery and messianic overtones that have been a large part of the Obama campaign, still creep me out, even more so now that he's been elected. I believe the site that I just linked to is satire, and it's a good source for all things "ObamaMessiah". Explore it, it will scare the crap out of you.
At any rate, Americans have buried an ugly chapter in our history and that fact, alone, should be a source of pride for all of us - the weirdness not withstanding.
That said, I wish that the subject of this historic milestone had been someone other that an crypto-socialist product of the famously corrupt Chicago Political Machine. I wish our selection had not not been someone who believes that dialogue with monsters will curb their monstrous deeds - that's dangerous naivete'. I wish our selection had been someone who had a passion for capitalism as a centerpiece of American exceptionalism, rather than a just a necessary means to finance The State. I wish that we had elected someone who sees Iraq as a worthy mission to be completed rather than a mistake to be corrected. I wish that it had been someone that projected strength and continuity, rather than weakness and seemingly yet-to-be-defined "change". I wish that our new President would have been elected based upon "the content of his character rather than the color of his skin". I wish that the new Leader of the Free World would have been someone who sees "hope" as the very definition of America, rather than a vague (and may I add, vacuous) political slogan.
Alas, in judging Barack Obama by his own words, we have not done any of the above. I believe that we have elected the wrong man and, in the interest of my country, my fondest wish is that I will be proven wrong. Heretofore, I have judged Barack Obama on his words. Henceforth, I will judge him on his deeds. I'll not indulge in the naked hatred that the left has heaped upon George W. Bush for the past 8 years; we, as conservatives, are better than that. I'll not utter the words "he's not MY President" as I have so often heard of George W. Bush. Barack Obama, for better or worse, was elected by the American people and therefore he IS my President. He is NOT my messiah.
The Office of President of the United States, and history, have a way of bestowing greatness upon seemingly mediocre men. I hope that will be the case with Mr. Obama. In a dangerous world, his fate is inexorably tied to all of our fates, so I, as should we all, wish him well.
Make no mistake though, I consider myself a member of the "loyal opposition", though my opposition will not be reflexive as has been the case for the past 8 years - "Obama Derangement Syndrome" should not be a response to "Bush Derangement Syndrome". If I believe his decisions are sound, I will note them. If I believe him to be in error, I will shout it from the rooftops because the margin for error in this job is slim. This is the Big Leagues; it's not "community organizing" or being 1% of the Senate.
As for what the future holds, we shall see. Let the games begin. I might also admonish Mr. Obama that God is jealous and I think He may not take kindly to Messianic pretenders.