Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The People Have Spoken
I did not vote for Barack Obama, but I have to admit that I am intrigued about what the next four years will bring. I feel like it will be a fascinating experiment in what the American people are willing to do, how well more progressive programs can actually work, and the way in which a people's faith in their leader can make a nation stronger. I do not know to what extent he will be able to implement the various programs he outlined in the course of his campaign, but it will be interesting to see what happens and if he does prove himself to be the moderate Presidential candidate of his speeches or the liberal Senator of his record.
One thing that I do think is that the majority of the American people are wildly happy, and most of the rest are not wildly unhappy. And I think that is an important thing for this country. When Bush won in 2000 and then again in 2004, both were narrow victories made possible largely by 3 party candidates, and the numerical majority (i think?) was pretty upset. There was a sense of contention and anger, and I am not sure that the pro-Bush league (like me) were so happy so much as we were relieved that it wasn't Kerry.
The thing that was very different about Obama's supporters this year was that they tended to not be voting for the "lesser of two evils," as many Republicans were, but were really voting for Obama himself. People do seem to feel a sense of hope and optimism about what we can do with him as our leader. While I have my own misgivings about his policies (and I am utterly opposed to his position on abortion, which I think rises to the level of morally offensive), I do think that our country needs a leader at this time who carries the people's trust to really lead.
He will be making big decisions about the War on Terror and he will be able to make those decisions from a position of trust. If his thoughts on the War continue along the lines they have been traveling lately (away from withdrawal and towards continued struggle), he can do so with the American people behind him because they trust him.
In any matter, but particularly in matters of war, a leader needs to be strong and have the faith of his people in order to get the job done. America does not lack the military capability to win any military conflict, yet we can lose because we lack the will to fight and make the associated sacrifices. Perhaps with Obama at the head, America will find that will to do what is necessary in the Middle East, if Obama articulates the need for it. He will need to waste no time or effort pursuing the faith of the people because, rightly or wrongly, he already has it. I am convinced that he is a very smart man, and I pray that he will exercise his ample intelligence to be worthy of the faith that this nation has in him. I am not beyond hope.