If we held the election today, Barack Obama would win.
I believe his election will represent a sad day and four long years for America. I believe that a majority of Americans have lost their perspective on the dominating issues of our day. In Barack Obama, we are electing a feel-good babysitter instead of a president and commander-in-chief. After seven years of war and struggle with no end in sight, many Americans want to quit this game and go out and play.
We have seen this story before. In 1976, Americans were tired after Vietnam and Watergate. They wanted change in the worst way. As a result, they elected a change president, some of whose claims to fame while in office were stagflation, the misery index, and the Iran Hostage Crisis. Ironically, a lot of Barack Obama’s rhetoric sounds a lot like Jimmy Carter’s did. Sadly, Obama will very likely be able to deliver just about what Carter was able to produce.
Americans who believe that an Obama presidency will change things have no sense of history. What have most presidents managed to change? Historically, most nation changing events come from the outside, not within, the government. Historically, the government spends most of its time responding.
And, Obama will be responding too. He will have to deal with resurgent Russia. He will need to face a defiant nuclear North Korea. He will be tested by a belligerent and dangerous Iran. He may have to deal with the potential for civil war in Pakistan and a Taliban resurgence throughout Afghanistan.
Obama will be dealing to a Congress that looks like a pack of hungry children in need of a nap. He will have to face the leaders of nations, allies and otherwise, all of whom want something from the United States. He will have to negotiate with a private sector who is not about to just let a president have his way. Ultimately, he will be held responsible by an American people notorious for their fickleness and impatience with their politicians.
Most voters seem to be ignorant of all of these things. Instead, they want to elect a leader who they hope will make all the bad things go away so they can get back to playing Wii and watching Survivor. They want a benevolent, democratic king. They want an incarnate deity with the power to take all their worries away.
The voters in this election do not want to think about responsibility for their own wellbeing, hard work to secure their own finances, or the long road ahead in the fight against fundamentalist terrorism. I grant that John McCain is far from the perfect candidate, but for me, he represents the cold reality of the world we actually face, not the lollipop land Obama is trying to sell us.
Unfortunately, I am growing certain that Obama will be our president-king, and I wonder what the end of his reign will look like. Will it be more hostages? Terrorist attacks? A financial collapse? I pray not, but in the mean time, I think it is time to prepare for the worst.