Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Post Election Hangover

A lot of people think that we only end up with the government that we deserve. I typically hope that doesn't end up being the case.

While I'm severely disappointed that Obama ended up winning the election, I at least have a few good things to look forward to. Chief among them, I suspect President Obama will give me endless material to blog about.

Most importantly, though, I think a lot of people are going to have something of an "awakening," maybe even within the first year of Obama's term. Obama walked into office by telling each audience what he thought they wanted to hear, the only constant being his vapid and transparent appeals to "hope and change." Once he's in office, though, he actually has to get around to doing something. I suspect he'll attempt to pull off the radically liberal agenda he affirmed to some audiences and then denied to others. Whether he gets them past Congress is another matter, but mandating taxpayer-funded abortions and bankrupting coal-fired power plants may certainly raise a few eyebrows. If nothing else, he'll never live up to the promise that so many of his followers saw in him, and this will lead to disllusionment and anger. People will either feel that they were sold a socialist in centrists' clothing, or a centrist in socialists' clothing, but either way someone is going to have buyer's remorse.

One thing I especially want to hit on, though, is this hype about how "historical" it is that we've elected our first black President. Let's skip past the obvious line about judging someone by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Will the election of a black President change anything?

I could see it go either way. Perhaps those black nationalists that Obama associated himself with all these years will see a black man in the highest position of power in the country, see little change, and realize that perhaps the paranoid conspiracy theories about the government concocting AIDS to kill black people (among silly beliefs) are nothing but that. Perhaps they'll realize that things really have changed in the last few decades, and now it is more incumbent on people themselves to lift themselves up, rather than blame all their troubles on the malice of others.

Unfortunately, I find it just as likely that these people will be racist nutters no matter what happens. When President Obama doesn't immediately release the super-secret government cure for AIDS, spend government money to pay for all of their bills, and release every black man from prison, they'll conclude he's just another "Uncle Tom" and wait for a "real" black politician to step up and lead them to the promised land. Whatever that might be.

I don't know what the next few years will bring. I can only hope that we'll avoid lasting damage to this country and in the world at large before it's all over.

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