O.K., we all have a new President. So, for those of us who exist in the right-of-center mindset is this a time of deep misgiving? Probably not. Yes, there is uncertainty about what will concretely happen now that we have collectively chosen “Change-Regardless of what that actually entails” as our operating philosophy. But, until we see what “change” means in real terms I’m not sure how much real anxiety anyone should be feeling. (As opposed to the mock anxiety expressed by a lot of the chattering classes masquerading as “conservatives”.) Are we gauging Obama with a jaundiced and skeptical eye? You betcha, and given the campaign the Democrats just ran, how could any thinking person of the right be anything but jaundiced and skeptical.
So, if we are not filled with deep misgivings, maybe we are consumed by conflicting emotions? You know the drill… “You right-wingers are knee-jerk reflexive jingoists who are now saddled with Barack Obama, the Post-everything fellow, as your President. You must partly hate our country now just like Tim Robbins and the Dixie Chicks did back in the day, right?”
Uh…not so much.
American democracy is a process and a person attains office (high or otherwise) by engaging in that process, and not because they enjoy a heightened moral authority. There is no guarantee that I, or anyone else, will like the individuals who win any given election, but that doesn’t mean we reject the process when we do not win the day. The reasons any individual voter may have had for preferring Obama to John McCain are probably as varied as can be imagined, and I imagine that many of those reasons were, frankly, pretty stupid. However, that doesn’t make me love my country any less. Hell, I don’t even wish the people who held the dumb ideas lived in another country, and if that is what I feel about those who held dumb and stupid ideas, why should I be harsher on those who were more principled in their convictions even if I disagreed with them?
Well, the truth is, I’m not. This will come as a shock to those who for eight years showed all the maturity of a 4-year-old not getting what they wanted at a Toys-R-Us (as Gaius pointed out), but today was a good day for America because it shows the process works, just as it has every four years since 1789. Barack Obama is our President and I hope he leads us ably. That will never change. Barack Obama is also the head of the Democratic party, a political faction built around a specific political ideology I often find foolish. I hope the legislative agenda advancing the ideas of that specific ideology flounders. Believe it or not, those two hopes are not contradictory.
So it all comes down to the first truth of American democracy; let the process continue.