Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Recap

Sorry to not post yesterday...it had nothing to do with a post-election hangover, and everything to do with the boys at work convincing me to play hooky and go golfing with them:-) How could we not? It was like 70 degrees outside! It's November! We are morally obligated to take advantage of that.

I learned a valuable lesson about golfing in the Fall, though...you lose the ball under leaves a lot! That was kind of super annoying:-)

OK...election. Very few surprises, really...things pretty much followed the final polls pretty closely. A pretty resounding win for Obama, obviously. I do, however, have some issues with the analysis of the event. Namely:

1) Obama went to great lengths to not be "The Black Candidate". He did an enormous amount of work and was hugely successful in being and standing for so much more than that. So, I was a little disappointed when, right when they called the race, the talking heads all of a sudden reverted exclusively to talking about his race. I don't want to say that it was insulting to him, but I really feel like it sort of belittles what he has accomplished. He deserved a more robust reading of what he had just accomplished.

2) I heard at least three different people refer to Obama as a "transformational figure." How absurd is that? Don't you kind of have to be President first before you can transform anything? Can we maybe let him actually govern first? George Washington was a transformational figure. So were both Roosevelts, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Heck, I would buy Andrew Jackson as a transformational figure. And Obama very well could be...but let's actually let him transform something first.

3) Can we please ignore this nonsense about whether the country is right-of-center or left-of-center or whether this is an acceptance of Obama's ideals and yada yada yada. This election was about exactly one issue: George Bush. Obama won because McCain was more identified with Bush than he was, and Bush is wildly unpopular. Everything else was basically a rounding error in the polls. When we try and take lessons from this election (as we always do) it is foolish to look much beyond that.

4) I sincerely hope that the worldwide love for Obama is not based on a feeling that he will consider the interests of other nations ahead of our own. Or, if it is, I hope that they are wrong. I am all for open communication, and for articulating and promoting our ideals. In fact, that could well be Bush's greatest failing: an inability (or unwillingness) to properly articulate why his actions were in our interest, why they are in others' interests and why we have to do things that others disagree with. But make no mistake...the President of the United States of America should be concerned with serving no constituency other than the citizens of the United States of America. I trust Obama to effectively articulate whatever message he is trying to get across...I simply hope that the message is appropriate.

So, there are my flash thoughts for the day. I didn't vote for him, but I am not really unhappy with his election. I am sure he will make mountains of mistakes...they all do...and will almost certainly struggle to meet the absurd expectations that every President starts with. But I know he is smart, and I trust him to work hard, and that seems like as good as start as any.

And honestly, he has to be cool... he is from Chicago after all;-)

3 comments:

Ys said...

Obama being the first black president is a big deal. Especially for a country that still holds onto a lot of racism. I think it's fair to concentrate on that issue right now. The rest will come later, when he's officially in office.

Unfortunately the American President is responsible for a lot that goes on outside of America. It's not something the rest of us like ;) but it is true. The country holds a lot of sway over a lot of issues.

That's my way of looking at it as a non-American anyway ;)

Scotty said...

I think I pretty much agree with you.

Are people from Chicago cool?

Princess Extraordinaire said...

I am so with you on your key points - I agree that Obama won in part becasue McCain was so closely tied to Bush....it was someting he couldn't avoid.