Obviously, we have made history. Some are claiming that they have helped “change the world” and I think that it is a bit premature for that analysis. Electing an African American president does not change the world or even our nation. The fact that we have elected an African American president is evidence that our nation has changed. When the color of our president no longer matters, then we can say that our nation has truly changed.
Much more important than the color of our president is the policy that will come out of this White House and Congress. What we know or Pelosi and Reid (and others) is that policy can not be liberal enough. Obama has the reputation of being the most liberal in the senate. According to his speech on election night, he wants to unify the nation. If he follows this rhetoric with actual governing from that position we will see two key results. First, the leftist ideologues and press corp that is largely responsible for getting him elected will feel betrayed and be very angry. Second, the nation will unify and the world will see us as less divisive and a stronger ally.
Some are saying; “he is not my president,” but he is our president and he is (or will be) the leader of the greatest nation on earth and we must unite behind our leader. Karl Rove said it best when he told us that we should work with our president, persuade him when we can and oppose him when he is wrong.
There are two aspects of our national circumstance over which President Obama has no control. The first is the war in Iraq. Three possibilities exist; it may be over before inauguration, he may be convinced to let General Petraeus complete the task since the surge is working and progress is being made, he may decide to pull the plug and we will be fighting the same terrorists on our soil within his administration. The second aspect beyond the control of the President (any president) is the economy. Most people blame the president, but Congress, consumer confidence, and economic powerhouses like the oil cartel who set price and production determine the state of the world economy, not the President. A friend of mine described it as dropping a new captain on the deck of the Titanic right after the iceberg was struck… too late, won’t matter. The only thing we can do to save our economy is to cut taxes and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I don’t know how the rest of the country decided, but T. Boone Picken’s plan was voted down in California. Only time will tell how the people will respond, but in the 1930’s we began a rash of new thinking that pulled us out of the Depression. It took 20 years, but, by necessity, brought us to new thinking and new ways of doing things. That is what we need now.
Speaking of California… We voted to preserve marriage, but we indicated that the comfort of chickens is more important that parents talking to their daughters before killing a fetus. Go figure! Meanwhile, we have elected to spend billions on the investigation of the possibility of maybe building a high-speed train. The people who support gay marriage really believe that it is a “right” and so they will continue to fight and have already called for law suits and to place a new initiative on the ballot for the next election. Because they believe that marriage is a civil right, they see this as a battle equal to the “separate but equal” issues of racial discrimination. I hope we can ensure the rights of everyone and still protect marriage, which I believe is not a right, but an institution ordained by God and my religious beliefs and not to be twisted into something that it is not. Governor Schwarzenegger has just announced mid-year budget cuts, including $2.5 Billion from education this year. Teachers will lose their jobs and classes will become more crowded. There is less tutoring available and less support for students in general, but the expectations for standardized test scores continue to be raised. As the saying goes: “we have been doing so much with so little in such a short time for so long, that soon we will be expected to do everything with nothing in no time at all.”
Truth be told, only time will tell what the next 4 years will bring. I pray for my leaders, even (and maybe especially) when I disagree with them. Again I hope that the next 4 years are so properous and posititve that I will want to re-elect President Obama, but I haven’t decided yet. I am certain that it will get worse before it gets better.