Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My thoughts on the election


Three years ago, as the contenders for the 2008 Presidential Election lined up, a student asked me "Mr. Brown, do you think that Barack Obama can win the election for president?".  I replied, "No.  I don't think that the country is mature enough yet to elect a black man president.  Maybe in 2012."

On election night, my Facebook profile was nailed with comments from students in that class that reminded me that I told them that Obama had no chance to win.  I didn't say that, I said that I didn't think the country was mature enough. 

I was wrong, and I'm happy that I was.

That's not to say that I'm giving away who I voted for, but let's be honest, the vote was historic.  One can only look at the last 125 years of U.S. history and see that the Declaration of Independence can rest easier now that the idea of "all men are created equal" has come true.  Now a black mother and father can truly look into the eyes of their kids and say, "You can do anything you want, even become President of the United States".  That's very, very good for this nation. 

I really didn't look at history when I voted, I looked at who I thought could run this nation the best.  I think that the two candidates might have been the best two choices in years.  Ronald Reagan was the best in modern history, and then the candidates start to slump, with the Bush/Gore election having two idiots running for the highest office in the land.  So I wasn't too concerned with my choice bringing about negative change for the country.  Thinks I considered:

-Obama had the single most liberal voting record of any member in Congress.  Most of the people had no idea about that because he hardly made a ruckus in the Senate.

-Obama also did little to make himself noticed in the Senate in terms of backing major legislative change (take Hillary and health care reform for example).  This means that he was preparing to run right after the 2004 Democratic Convention speech (maybe even before it) and fits the bill as a typical politician.  More typical than McCain actually.  John McCain often went across party lines.  Obama almost never did. 

-McCain let his handlers own him, and that hurt his campaign badly.

-The number one reason that McCain lost is George Bush.  He probably didn't have much of a chance with the current party in the White House.

-The number two reason that McCain lost was Sarah Palin, who is a dolt and was the single worst vice-presidential choice in history.

What next?

Well, the fervor is going to die down and the actual action of running the country is going to be interesting.  While kids lined up en masse to vote Mr. Obama into office, they will also find that the President can only do so much to change an economy, especially one that is globally connected.  And those that are waiting for Obama to move far left are going to have to wait longer, because he's already realized that both extremes will get him nowhere.  The President-Elect has already signed up economic advisors that are pro-free trade (Obama campaigned anti-NAFTA) and Commerce Secretary that will want to work immigration into the economy.  Robert Gates is going to be around for awhile longer as Secretary of Defense (a good move), and already Mr. Obama as mentioned that he's about to take the fight to Pakistan if that country doesn't get its act together.  Sounds like a move to the center for me.

So history was made and history awaits this man who the country overwhelmingly chose as President.  It is going to be interesting, to say the least.

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