Wednesday, November 05, 2008

See You in Four Years

The majority of people woke up this morning very happy that Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States in this historic election. Apparently a lesser number of folks woke up very sad and even pessimistic about what our future holds because he had been elected.

I can tell you this is not the first election in our history that has happened. I read a comment from a friend today who said he thought the world had ended when Goldwater lost in 1964.

It didn’t.

For the record, I voted for John McCain. It serves no purpose at this point to share the reasons I voted for McCain but I am an educated, informed, reasonable and free American. And I have the right to vote for the candidate of my choice.

I will however unequivocally say that I did not make my choice based on the color of someone’s skin.

I will also say, in spite of differences of opinions and beliefs, I have a God mandated responsibility to wholeheartedly support the newly elected President of our great country and honor the position he will soon hold.

And that is exactly what I intend to do.

I am not a pessimist. I never have been and never will be. My hope and sincere prayer is that President Barack Obama will be the best President this nation has ever known and that God would grant him the wisdom to lead this country through and to the other side of the perils she faces.

With that said, I received an article tonight that was written by Andy Marlatt. Andy is a long time friend from Connecticut and is a real writer. He apparently had been participating in a long running thread of emails with friends about, among other things, this election. His group was lamenting that the election was now over and it was time to change the heading on what they had been discussing and move on to a new topic. They asked Andy to give the Benediction on their current thread.

This is unedited and posted here absolutely without Andy’s permission. But in the spirit of unity and OPTIMISM, I will get forgiveness from him later and give it to you anyway:

Barack Obama gave an important speech on Tuesday night. By now, the people -- on either side -- would have expected no less. He talked about what unites us, and what divides us; what makes us fear, and what makes us hope. He told us how we can continue to move forward, and how we had, "on this day", taken those first important steps. But it wasn't the stirring rhetoric of "Yes We Can" or “Yes We Did” that made me realize something momentous had happened. It was instead a line from the unlikeliest of places, buried in his list of campaign thank yous, a message to his daughters.

"Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine,” he said, “and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House."

Funny, isn't it? With all this election represents, with all we as a nation have overcome, with all the challenges we face, that's what did it for me. It was the uncomplicated, everyday innocence of children coming to the White House. With their new puppy.

Part of the reason this caught my ear was no doubt because of the last few words, "...coming with us to the White House." Five years after the start of the war in Iraq, seven years after 9/11, nearly 150 years after the abolition of slavery, a black man named Barack Hussein Obama really was moving into the White House. It was no longer abstract. Or impossible.

But it was the sentence’s simpler meaning that got to me. A new family was moving into the White House. A young family. A family with two little children.

The White House is a symbol of power and resolve and hope and yes sometimes intimidation and fear. America itself can be all those things. But the White House, like America, is also a home. It is a place for children; children who remind us why we are here and what we have that is truly worth fighting for. And most importantly, children who look us in the eye and force us, repeatedly, innocently, and sometimes annoyingly, to answer a simple question: "Why?"

We have missed that these last few years. We have missed the innocence, trust, enthusiasm, and unbridled hope that children have in such great store. Individually, yes, these characteristics may appear weak, but when combined they give us our most endearing, and enduring, trait: optimism.

For all our infighting and back-biting and overbearing moralism, we are, at heart, a nation of optimists. We think we can. We know we can. Sometimes we don’t even know why we can. We just do. Well right now, we need that optimism. The world is a dangerous and complicated place, and as adults it is our responsibility to face those dangers, to unravel those complexities, as best we can. It is easy -- far too easy -- to allow the world to scar us, to taint us, to strip away our trust and optimism and hope and replace it with obstinacy, rigidity, and the insecurity of certitude.

I don’t know that this will change, but I do know there will be children again in the White House; children who will expect their parents, and all of us, to look after them, keep them safe, give them the opportunities to live a good life; children who will want us, and should expect us, to do no less for them than they will do for their new, young and furry charge.

I’m an American. I’m an optimist. I expect the people in charge, this time, to succeed. I expect them to because they will have, right in front of them, the youthful, trusting, smiling and ever-present reminder of “Why?” Why it matters. Why we should try. Why whatever we do is worth the effort.

There will be children again in the White House. And some new stains on the oval office rug. And it’s wonderful.

See you in four years.



Judy S said...

I have been involved in politics all my life, but for the last 12 years I have been very active and work on many campaigns. I have held every office of the Republican Party on the local level, even the Chairman. I was the Treasurer for the 3rd District and was a member of the State Committee for a number of years. This year for some reason was different from all the others. I have had a fear for this wonderful Country that I love so much and I still do. I voted for McCain, not because I thought that he was the best, but because we at least knew who this man was. We still don't no who Obama is and I'm not sure that we will ever know. This a man with many secrets.I would like to ask each of you who read this to continue to pray for this Country and for our leaders. Pray for God to save us from ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that part of his speech also. What I noticed, though, was that instead of looking at his children when speaking to them "from his heart," he read to them from a teleprompter only glancing from one prompter to the other. If this man has trouble looking at his own children when he speaks to them, it gives me great pause. As an American, I will back my president and pray that in four years I will be giving him my vote for a second term to complete the wonderful works of his first term, not campaigning against him to save our country.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Obama couldn't look at his children during the speech because they were not on stage at the time. His wife and kids had left the stage by the time he gave his speech. As for not knowing who he is, well, true enough, he hasn't been on the national stage all that long, so whether or not he follows through on his promises, some good and some not, it's hard to know. He has a track record, but a short one. Then again, he did write an autobiography, and a second book that was pretty detailed in his view of things. If you read them it'd be hard to say you didn't know enough about him. You may not like what you learn, but I don't think it's fair to say not enough is known.

Anonymous said...

Not sure who wrote the last comment, but he/she must have read a lot between the lines in the two Obama books. I read the books and there is a lot of time line skips in his past that we still do not know about. I like Bruce will support the new President, but I wish Mr. Obama he was more transparent. He makes great speeches and is very inspirational, but I wish I knew his true core beliefs, which are not clear in his books nor very apparent in his public statements.

Anonymous said...

Obama's core beliefs have nothing to do with running a country. If you took your vehicle to an express lube to get your transmission fixed, would you ask for the gentleman's core beliefs as a way of determining whether or not he can fix a transmission. I would certainly hope not. You would want the individual who has an idea about transmissions.

While Senator Obama may have a short track record, this should not take away from the fact that he has strong leadership qualities, an intelligent mind, and an experienced vice president-elect to aid him in his decisions.

It sure does feel good to know that if something were to happen to Senator Obama while in office, Joe Biden would be our president.... and not Sarah Palin.

By the way, I voted for John McCain as well. But, we, as Americans, should not, at this point, be in search of Obama's "core beliefs." It's irrelevant.

Here's to hopefully 8 years of prosperity.

Judy S said...

To the person that is defending Obama. First of all I put my name on what I wrote. I'm not ashame of who I am and what I believe.Second you appartently didn't read the same books that I read or should I say tried to read. He plainly stated that he would stand with the Muslims. If I remember correctly these are the people who attaced our country on Sept 11.

Anonymous said...

Who said I was responding to your comment. I'm responding to the comment above mine. Not yours. And yes, I did read both of Obama's books. You're gonna have to get over yourself. He is going to be our president. And you should support him.

Anonymous said...

Let me just say, I not only read the books, I know President-Elect Obama, Senator McCain, and Senator Biden. The dude that thinks "core beliefs" is not important for an elected official has lost his mind. Further, to compare being president to fixing a transmission is crazy. It is easy to develop the skill set to fix a car. A car is a mechanical system. It is predictable. If a gear is ground, you put in a new one. Being president, you do not have a manual. When faced with a problem, the fix is much more complicated than just putting in a new gear. The president listens to advisers and then makes a decision. Often, he does not necessarily have the knowledge to select the correct answer. He has to rely on his core values to make the final decision. Core beliefs or values are the most important characteristics of an elected official, because it is those values that will factor into all decisions.

BTW, there is not way you voted for McCain/Palin. If so you would not have slammed Gov. Palin. She was the best part of the Republican ticket. Gov. Palin is a bold leader. She is a real person that knows the struggles of the "folks." She has not been in Washington all her adult life or spent all her adult life plotting on how to get there.

We do agree on one thing though. Obama is going to be our next president, and we should respect him and pray that he makes good decisions. Further, we should pray for his safety also. If something happens to him, we would be stuck with Joe Biden as president, and I can assure you, he is a disaster.

Judy S said...

Hey, who ever you are. I was not saying that you were responding to me. I just said that I had the guts to put my name on what I write. Judy

Anonymous said...

Well, you must all remember how C. Jack Ellis broke the City of Macon with his free spending. Maybe he was attempting to distribute the wealth like Hussein Obama wants to. Socialism is taking over America. You better get a gun now while you can (for protection)if you don't have one. Someone said the other day that at Barrow Automotive in Butler, Bo and crew have near 50% increase in sales of all guns. I too, wish we knew more about him. All I can say is for all of us , even those who don't pray on a regular basis to pray for God to save us from ourselves.

P. S. Remember he is a Lawyer by trade. Most of us know about lawyers, when a crooked one passes away, he has got to be screwed into the ground.