I did not vote for Obama. I also did not vote for McCain. I’m not overly thrilled nor disappointed with the results last night. I think it’s fantastic that the country will finally have an African-American president, even if Obama isn’t the one I’d have preferred to become the first. I’m very happy for my Obama-supporting friends and for all Obama supporters, in fact, who are filled with hope and elation today. (After listening to them belly-ache for the past 6 years, I’m glad they’re in a better mood finally.)
I think Obama is probably the Democratic Party’s version of Ronald Reagan: Completely inexperienced, but a born leader; a highly skilled communicator and motivator of people, incredibly polished on the outside (some say too polished/slick, and they may turn out to be right), and a politician who came along at the right time: when just about the entire country considered the incumbent a failure. If Obama follows through on his mostly centrist campaign promises, and if the Congress lets him stay in the center, I think we’ll be fine.
The only thing that scares me about Obama is his followers. Well, some of them. I’m a big fan of hope, but it’s not healthy when people are breaking into tears and passing out when a politician walks into a room. Obama’s events were often like The Beatles first time in the U.S. There’s a portion of Obama-nation that seems to equate him with the second coming of Jesus Christ, and that’s scary. (I did, in fact, read one quote online last night where an Obama supporter said, “He’s our Moses.”)
Our government works best when citizens take a critical, evaluative role in the process. It’s our duty to examine everything our government proposes. Respect authority, but question it. When I watch Obama rallies on TV, I see plenty of the former, but I don’t see a lot of people capable of the latter. I hope I’m wrong.
(Note: This is not posted because I think you care how I feel about politics. It’s not posted to get a political debate going. It’s posted for my own benefit, so that I have a record of what’s running through my mind during what everyone seems to be describing as a “new era” for the country. We’ll see.)