SO, today was tough.
My disappointment over the election results was compounded by my apprehension about the future. If you had the chance to follow some of the discourse in the comments section, you will see further evidence of a persistant truth: an outcome does not stipulate an end to the discussion.
I'm going to end my day of wallowing by clarifying a few things about my position and sharing a few hopes about what might lie ahead.
As much as I do not believe Barack Obama is the Second Coming, I also do not believe George Bush is the anti-Christ, though both of those bandwagons seem pretty full right now. However, I do believe that the last eight years have been far from our finest and I joined the throngs of voters calling not for change, but for betterment.
Having said that, I voted for McCain becuase he has always been someone I admire for choosing to cross party lines on principle, regardless of politics. When Bush first secured the nomination in 2000, and then again in 2004, I wondered aloud to anyone who'd listen why McCain wasn't up for consideration. The resounding answer was that he was not Republican enough, he teamed up with the likes of Ted Kennedy and Joe Lieberman on occasion for God's sake. He was not among the party faithful.
And that is exactly why I liked him.
If we're being honest, I did not like his choice in Sara Palin for VP either as I didn't feel she was ready. A remarkable woman who has impressed me on many fronts, just not in any that have to do with the position of vice president.
If we're also being honest, I love to listen to Obama speak. As a language junkie, I admire his subtle shifts from towering expostulations to quiet reverie. I also admire his ability to silence hordes of people with a few words and then lead them into entusiastic abandon with a few others. He is a modern Cicero.
He did not earn my vote, however, for many reasons, chief among them being his lack of experience. For all his inspiring speeches, he had no points of action from which to qualify his promises. I want to believe he is the change we are seeking, but he has never done anything to really show his abilities to lead. Again, here is a remarkable person whom I believe came to light too early.
As for his proposed policies, yes, the tax plan is very disconcerting to me. I do not believe people should be punished with higher tax rates simply because their hard work has garnered more income than someone else. Yes, there are inequalities when it comes to educational opportunities (as a high school teacher who taught in the Bronx for years, I witnessed that firsthand), but unequal tax requirements simply come down to a matter of fairness. A whopping 3% tax increase for one demographic is not the answer for tackling the deficit, especially when you consider that much of this particular demographic is ALREADY paying the AMT. That's right, these people are already paying additional taxes as a reward for their financial success. There simply has to be another way. The truth of the matter is, no candidate can tax this economy back to life, much like throwing money at schools does not ensure higher test scores.
There are some other points that also concern me with our president elect, but I'm just done with it all. The campaign is over and I am over it. Let's move forward.
I hope that:
1) My children will find it unremarkable that minorities hold elected offices since they have never known otherwise.
2) We do not allow the accomplishments of our troops in Iraq to go unrecognized. Whether you agree with our reasons for entering into the war or not, the result is looking more and more like success for a people who endured the persecution of a tyrant for too long. The tyrant is gone and the United States now has an apparent ally in the Middle East.
3) We do not let our preference for president interrupt our momentum for change. Never before has the country faced such challenges and so, no matter who you've backed, the work lies before us for those willing to work.
4) Finally, no matter how dire you believe our straits are as a country, it still happens to be the greatest nation in the world. Our schools, our employment opportunities, and our freedoms remain as enviable as they are self-evident.
And that's about it.
2 years ago