Although I voted for Senator John McCain, I’m delighted at Senator Obama’s victory, and look forward to his presidency. May he live long and prosper, and may Senator Biden be barely seen or heard from again.
I’ve been a supporter of Senator John McCain for quite some time. I hoped to be able to vote for him in 2000, and that early support carried me though 2008, when I cast my vote for the 2000 McCain rather than the 2008 McCain, hoping that he would revert to form after the election. But unlike many Republicans (I consider myself a right-leaning independent), I have never been scared of a President Obama. I’ve been attracted to him since I heard him speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. In fact, I understand the feeling of hope his supporters feel. I, too, have high hopes for President Obama and for the United States of America.
The next couple of years are likely to be unpleasant. There are many things that have brought us to this point of financial crisis, and much blame for members of both ruling parties, but no matter the past, the future will bring some very hard choices. There simply won't be enough money to do everything we want to do. My pet projects and your pet projects are both likely to face cutbacks. Let’s be realistic: when Republican President John McCain says that program such-and-such must be cut, the hue and cry is sadly predictable: “McCain hates children, women, the homeless, minorities, and everyone else.” When Democratic President Barack Obama says that program such-and-such must be cut, we know that he doesn’t hate children, women, the homeless, minorities, and everyone else, so maybe — just maybe — there really isn’t enough money!
Just as “only Nixon could go to China,” I believe that only Obama can cut spending. Whether he will remains to be seen, but since Republican President Bush and a Republican Congress presided over the largest increase in federal spending in quite a while, it’s difficult to see how President Obama and a Democratic Congress could do much worse.
I’m disappointed that several issues I care about are likely to go “the wrong way” during President Obama’s tenure, but more than that, I’m delighted to think that more of us can now tell our children “one day you could be President” without crossing our fingers behind our backs.
And maybe, just maybe, President Obama will be a better President than I expect him to be. Maybe he will rise to the occasion. Maybe campaigning across America for the last two years has helped him to understand the American people better than he did before. Maybe the financial crisis will temper his desire for new spending. Maybe he will moderate his views on abortion. Maybe we will see a bit more of Obama the campaigner, and a bit less of Obama the partisan ideologue. I hope so!
Even if he doesn’t, if he turns out to be more like President Carter than President Clinton, he will still herald a new day in American politics as America’s first black President. The first sixteen U.S. Presidents could have owned Barack Obama, his wife, and his children as slaves, but now he will serve as the 44th President of the United States of America.
A process that began with the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, takes a giant step forward with a new Democratic President, Barack Obama. Today I am proud of my country.