Finding The Silver Lining In Obama’s Victory

We here at Grand Rants have been unabashedly against the idea of electing Barack Obama President. Over the past few months, we’ve stated our case and we stand by it. Speaking for myself, I’m still not convinced he’s qualified. There’s a huge difference between running a campaign and running the country the world looks to for hope and inspiration. I hope he has the goods to deliver. Also, I’m still not convinced that he even has a pro-democracy agenda. I look forward to being proven wrong. But it will be his actions and not his rhetoric that will provide the answer to that question.

Stoutcat has already offered the President-elect our congratulations. While I echo that sentiment, I do so with no sour grapes, but with a few caveats:

This is a historic moment for this country, Mr. President-Elect. It is also especially meaningful to minorities everywhere. You have proven the dream IS attainable through hard work. Savor the moment, for you have worked tirelessly to achieve a great victory, not just personally, but for all minority types.

Be advised, however, you did not get elected with a decisive mandate. You wound up with virtually the same number of votes that George W. Bush received 4 years ago. As such, and whether it’s fair or not, as the first President of African American descent, you carry the burden of having to reach a higher bar in the eyes of some just as Jackie Robinson had to be the best he could be when he was the first African American allowed to play baseball. I am confident you have the intelligence to do this.

It is extroadinarily important you truly represent the best interests of the United States. Your victory last night is not the end of your journey, but the beginning. More important, it is also the start of an era you will be credited for creating. Please. Keep this in mind every day. As an American who has served this country in time of war, I will respect and support you just as long as you honor our constitution and fairly represent the interest of ALL Americans.

This campaign was long, and both sides assaulted our senses every day. How, then, do you look for a silver lining amongst all the negatives of this election? Well, consider:

  • He’s just completely (and forever) blown away any shred of lingering doubt as to whether a person of ANY race, color or creed can aspire to the number one job in the country. Done deal.
  • This means he’s also eliminated the excuse so many have fallen back on as an excuse for not making the effort to be successful. Never again, can the excuse be used, “I can’t make it because I’m (fill in the minority of your choice).” Obama has delivered the truth: “Yes you can.” But it takes more than “Hope.” It takes commitment and effort just as it does for anyone else.
  • Many other nations today look at America in a better light today. Right or wrong, George Bush’s handling of the middle east has been abysmal and it has caused serious concern in many European Nations. With the election of Obama, we are setting expectations in those nations that imply we can be a better world partner. However, the pressure will be on Obama to maintain that. If he pulls our troops out of Iraq before they are ready to defend themselves, it will only embolden any radical Muslim cells in other countries.

That said, I am NOT encouraged by what lies ahead politically for the United States. During the campaign, little by little (and no thanks to the liberal mainstream media) Obama’s agenda has been brought to light. It includes such things as:

How much of that agenda he’s able to realize remains to be seen.

All in all, I’m happy that America has given its vote of confidence to an African American. We have broken the final barrier and it’s about time. Martin Luther King’s dream is now a reality. Or is it? In the end, I can’t help but wonder: was Obama elected based on the content of his character or simply because we needed “Change” from the abysmal job done by the current administration? Or was it simply the Rock Star manner in which he was promoted to us by his campaign? The margin of the popular vote (63.51 million for Obama VS 56.15 million for McCain, according to MSNBC) doesn’t give us a clear answer, but it doesn’t really matter at this point. Obama WON. He has been accepted and embraced as our next President. History has been made in that sense and I am proud to witness the crossing of that threshold. And I wish him the kind of success that will justify our confidence in him.

Good Luck, Mr. President-Elect. You have my support as far as wanting to give this country a new direction. I just hope your course of action protects our sovereignty and leaves our Constitution intact. I don’t question your intelligence one bit. You are an extraordinarily intelligent young man. I celebrate your historic accomplishment as a (partial) African-American. But it’s your political agenda alone reminding me that, “In front of every silver lining, there’s a dark cloud.”

Gerry Ashley

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2 Responses to Finding The Silver Lining In Obama’s Victory

  1. Couple of problems here…

    Popular vote: 56.15 million plus 63.51million = 119.66 million… That boils down to McCain getting 47% of the vote and Obama getting 53%… I’d say that’s a brutally clear answer as to what the electorate was thinking.

    Also, I don’t like the “dark cloud analogy”.

    Alan

  2. Gerry says:

    I don’t think the numbers divulge anything about WHY they voted that way… just that they did. You would need an exit poll to follow up with “Why did you choose…?” or “What made you decide to vote the way you did?”

    I actually meant to write that Obama did not receive a clear mandate from the voters. His margin of victory over McCain breaks down as follows (Source: Wikipedia)

    Popular vote:

    Obama McCain
    65,302,008 57,335,106

    Percentage:

    Obama McCain
    52.6% 46.1%

    My point being that this is hardly a landslide or much of a mandate. Let’s take it one step further: This year (as Limbaugh pointed out on his syndicated radio program), was the absolute BEST of all possible election conditions for the Democrats:
    . The economy took a dump just before the election.
    . We’re fatigued under 5 years of a war that has become increasingly unpopular,
    . The Democratic nominee is running against a Republican who has publicly stated we could be in Iraq for the next 100 years
    . The Republican opponent also admits to have voted WITH the unpopular President “over 90% of the time.”

    If that couldn’t produce enough interest in the Democratic voters to turn out in their largest numbers and give Obama a HUGE victory, then they must have some sort of doubt about Obama personally (“not enough experience”) or, perhaps, his agenda.

    As to the dark cloud analogy, I’m sorry if it bothers you, but I do make it clear I’m referring to political agenda that I see as dark and foreboding.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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