It’s nearly cliché to note that the 2008 U.S. Presidential election made history. While technically every election makes history, this one will always be specially noted in the history books. On November 4th the country proved, to me if not everyone, that this country is able to look beyond race. While I am convinced racism is not dead, I feel vindicated in my belief that racism among whites runs less than 20% in the U.S.
Does our partisan press corp believe that? I doubt it. Had McCain somehow been able to win this election, (something I thought impossible since the Bear Stearns collapse), we would have awaken Wednesday morning to endless analysis of “What went wrong?” and “Racism in America.” Yet comparatively little has been written or reported about the vindication an Obama victory provides. In fact, many pundits continue to insist America is a mean racist nation. They focus on states where Obama suffered losses, such as Tennessee. What did these people want, they wanted Obama to sweep all 50 states. Anything short of this seems to support the mean racist America theory. This is idiocy.
These people never pause to consider people, even African-Americans, may have voted for McCain because they thought he was a better choice, [gasp!]. Or God forbid, they voted against Obama because they feared his connections to anti-Semitic groups, shady political figures, or domestic terrorists. These fears are labeled “code words for racism.” I’ve even heard blacks call other blacks bigots and racists for voting their conscience. Apparently honest opposition is not allowed when race is a factor and this is idiocy.
A little personal introspection here, my vote was against higher taxes, for supporting Israel, and for domestic energy. I wanted to vote for Barack Obama but he talked me out of it. Some may wonder how a conservative would “want” to vote for a Democrat. The answer is simple, George W. Bush. Democrats spoke ad nauseum about Bush’s failed policies and frankly it was a good line because in many instances they were correct. Bush failed us by not keeping spending under control. His presidency saw the greatest expansion of government since the New Deal. He turned a surplus into a deficit. He betrayed capitalism by starting a major slide toward socialism. He side-tracked his own agenda when he invaded Iraq. (Side rant: Iraq was a third rate third-world nation that for 12 years had been continually pounded by G.H. Bush and W.J. Clinton. The sources claiming Saddam had WMDs were highly motivated politic opponents of Hussein. Finally, there was no credible connection between Saddam and the Al Qaeda attacks. But I digress.) I yearned for a choice I could vote for. I really did not want a Republican because I didn’t want the Democratically controlled Congress to have a scapegoat for their failures or a President they felt obligated to undermine.
In the end, Obama talked me out of giving him the nod. His insistence on negotiating with Iran (the most extremely evil regime on the planet-yeah people who advocate for genocide are evil), his passionate insistence on raising taxes on the people who provide jobs, his determination to grow the government, and his energy policy refused to include increasing domestic sources, new refineries or nuclear power. I could have accepted any one of these failings but in the aggregate it was simply too much. Then to add gravy to the reason NOT to vote for him was the issue of Israel. Obama’s former Pastor of 20 years is an anti-Semite, Obama is closely associated with George Soros, who is anti-Israel, Hamas endorsed Obama, and to a much lesser degree, European enthusiasm, (when the Europeans are excited about a U.S. Presidential candidate it is not because they have U.S. interests in mind and their track record of support for Israel is quite poor. -Oh, and yes the last link was a joke.) Ahmadinejad’s congratulations message was frightening confirmation of my fears on this issue.
Ironically, I feel like Ahmadinejad, Obama, and all the newly elected Democrats should be issuing flowery thank-you messages to outgoing President G.W. Bush. After all, this is the man who made their success possible. Oh sure we could blame ACORN and efforts to steal the election, we could blame the voters who voted in stampede-fashion for change without knowing what that meant, but at the end of the analysis things got screwed up and the man at the top was George W. Bush. As the sign on President Truman’s desk said, “the buckstops here.” So all you loyal Democrats need to flood the White House with letters of appreciation. A little part of me thinks John McCain will be sending his “thank-you” in four years.
All now is said and done and I can comfortably say, I wish Obama the best of luck. Talk radio gurus such as Rush, Hannity, Bortz, et al. need to take a break from Obama bashing and wait to see what’s next. I listened to Hannity in the days following the election as he continued to harp on about Tony Rezko and William Ayers as though the election had never occurred. The time to rant and rave about Rezko, Wright, Ayers, Khalidi, and Lord knows what else has passed. You cannot change the election results. There are serious issues to turn our attention to. The economy is destroyed, the U.S. debt is incomprehensible to most Americans, (that is why people don’t seem concerned about it), and the world is a dangerous place. I hope President Obama surrounds himself with sound patriotic advisors rather than partisans. So far he has not given me much to believe in but the journey has yet to begin.
Surely the incoming President understands his campaign rhetoric of “building the economy from the bottom up” is just that, rhetoric. As Sean Hannity is so fond of pointing out, no one has ever applied to a homeless person for a job. I suspect President-elect Obama knows raising taxes on businesses will further decimate the economy since these are where the jobs come from. I hope he is a student of economic history and understands past failures. Such as these: by 1980 the Democrats had raised the top income tax to 70% and unemployment rates soared to 10.8%. In 1994, India’s mixed economy, with its protectionist trade policies and 50% income tax, unemployment skyrockets 22.5%, and the government was bankrupt. In each of these examples the economies were saved through massive tax cuts. Reducing taxes encourages productivity, which means job creation.
I for one am giving President Obama the benefit of the doubt. For now, I am trusting he is not an idiot, because only an idiot would raise taxes and damn the consequences.