Ok... so I've come to an interesting conclusion:
On a net basis, Barack Obama was the best choice for President of the United States.
Don't get me wrong here, kids. I don't agree with almost anything that Barack Obama believes. I'm a conservative that tends to vote Republican, because Mitt Romney quoted Reagan's classic line that "It's not that liberals are ignorant... it's just that everything they know is wrong." I'm still under the impression that Obama is an honest socialist--in that he actually believes what he says--but I think he is dead wrong.
But, in the long run, I think there are many reasons why he was the best choice for President of the United States in the 2008 Election. Hopefully you think my reasoning is relatively salient:
1) The Republicans (especially John McCain) didn't deserve to win.
The Republican party has earned this losing streak. While I tend to be more lenient than most with the Bush administration, often it does not deserve leniency. The Republican Party is currently in shambles, without direction or any ideological anchor. The party lost a congressional majority in 2006 because they had forgotten to be fiscally conservative... they lost for the exact same reason that the Democrats lost in the 90s under Gingrich: they stopped representing people.
To make matters worse, John McCain ran a MISERABLE campaign. I mean, really bad. They mis-handled Sarah Palin (who became, undeservedly, the laughing-stock of the election), and generally failed to present a convincing argument about why he deserved to be President. The Republicans lost this election on January 4 when Iowa picked Huckabee instead of Romney. The minute the GOP picked McCain, they rolled over and gave up to Obama or Hillary.
So, add John McCain to the annals of Republican history right next to Bob Dole. The party nominated the guy who "deserved" it, not the candidate who could actually win the election and govern the country. Just look at '96 and '08... the results were the same.
2) This country needs to get over the spectre of George W. Bush.
President George W. Bush has been one of the most effective Presidents in recent history. Whether you like his policies or not, Bush has clearly been nigh unstoppable with his agenda. At the same time, he has also become one of the most widely-hated presidents in history. I personally don't think he deserves the hate and rancor against him... but we must admit that it exists. After all, hate is never rational.
If John McCain had won, people would have never gotten over this irrational hate for George W. Bush. I honestly think if McCain had won, he would have just perpetuated all the rancor against Bush, just transferred over to a much less-capable leader.
With an Obama presidency, we can let all the people who hate Bush without even knowing WHY just chill out and relax for a few years. And, they'll probably start to realize that George W. Bush was not the earthly embodiment of evil. To quote a former aide to John Kerry, the treatment of Bush has been a disgrace! Hopefully we can all get over it and MOVE ON.
3) With an Obama win, Black people can finally get over a major portion of their perpetual victimhood. The consequences of an Obama loss would have been expensive and messy.
Barack Obama just broke through the ultimate glass ceiling. He came from poverty and has achieved the American dream. And, watching the faces of Black Americans leads me to believe that they are proud of this accomplishment. Personally, I am tired of being told constantly that Black people can't make it in this world... and hopefully they are tired of believing it too.
One of the greatest results of an Obama win is relatively unrelated: the political death of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. My greatest hope is that by electing a well-spoken black man who isn't so caught up in slavery self-pity that he can't see straight, those who have claimed the mantle of Black Political Leadership for the past decade can quietly fade away. They can continue to indulge themselves by pontificating... but hopefully they can be overshadowed by a more articulate representative of black society (whether or not he's "black enough").
On the other hand, I truly fear the damage that would have accompanied an Obama loss. I can only imagine the riots and damage we avoided by picking the Black dude over the Old Fogey.
4) The Republican Party needs time to regroup and work some changes in leadership
With such a crippling loss, I have hope that conservatives can get together and turn the Republican Party into a more rational group. We need to take the pseudo-religious rhetoric and reunite Social, Fiscal, and National Security conservatives again. There are clearly more conservatives in this country than liberals (contrary to Hollywood's fantasy), and if we could unite around some competent leadership.
Personally, I'm still hoping for Mitt Romney in 2012. But, I'm open to other options. Regardless, it would be nice if conservatives could put up someone relatively competent.
I'm sure there are more reasons... but those are the big ones...
In short, I am bracing myself for four years of miserable leadership, socialist policies, and economic downfall. I'm going to turn more money than I should over to an incompetent government so Barack Obama can pay people to sit on their butts and wallow in their poverty.
But, when all the dust settles, I think Barack Obama is a MUCH better option than John Kerry... and not that much worse than John McCain. So, in the long run, I think he was the right person to be elected. But, I'm already anxious for 2012.
That's just my opinion.
That is all.
Monday, November 10, 2008
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1) Agreed. They lost their conservative base and alienated nearly all libertarians who did vote Republican.
2) Very much agreed. I don't think Obama deserved to win based on that but I do agree that it is a plus to his being in office.
3) Doubtful and for two reasons. First, just because a black man is president doesn't mean that all remaining racism is gone. It does still exist and it will continue to be an issue. It is certainly not to the level it was a few decades ago, but it is still there.
The second part applies where the first does not. While there is certainly a portion of that demographic that will go along with what you predict (or hope), I believe that a significant (not even necessarily the majority) portion of the black community will continue to play the victim role for a long time to come regardless of whether they fit in the category or not. That portion of the community knows that the victim role is too valuable to give up. If they give it up, then they would have to take responsibility for their failures and start standing up and being responsible citizens instead of making excuses for the general criminal behavior (gang, drug, theft, assault, etc.) that plagues inner city black youth. Blaming racism and white privilege is too much to let go of.
I hope I am wrong on this but am not willing to bet on it.
4) Absolutely. They need to decide if they are going to return to the fiscal conservatism and small government practices that made this country great (and which died out a long time ago). Or if they are going to abandon those principles entirely and head left, in which case I hope they do it sooner than later to give a chance for a new third party to come up that does represent those values (not holding my breath, but wouldn't it be nice?).
As for Mitt, I think he had his chance. I believe that anyone who ran for the Republican slot this election has been tainted by Bush and would do best by leaving well enough alone in the coming elections. In 2012, they will bring up images of that lost Republican party and big government Bush supporters.
I could be wrong, but unless they take part in a major rebuilding of the party and show themselves as having severely severed ties to the '00s Republicans, they will get beaten down like in '06 and '08.
Personally, I am terrified of what President Obama will do to this country in judicial appointments alone. As for moving on, socialist policies generally have to fail before they can be replaced. I've yet to see many repeals in that arena. And I if Obama does enact many of the socialist ideas that he has espoused, I wonder what this country will look like by the point that those policies have failed so that they can be torn down and replaced.
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