The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States (POTUS) is an event fraught with many levels of significance.
The most obvious one is that he’ll be the nation’s first black president. Some commentators have suggested that Obama’s role as POTUS will help America heal the wounds of its racist past. Maybe. More to the point, Obama as the Democrat who became president will clearly heal the wounds his party had inflicted on itself when it had supported slavery, the domestic terrorism of the KKK, Jim Crow laws, et al. Obama’s election is justifiably a point of pride for blacks just as JFK’s election had thrilled Roman Catholics several generations ago.
Obama will also be the first president whose ideology reflects more so the sensibilities of the French Revolution than the American Revolution. The last president accused of harboring such sensibilities was Thomas Jefferson whose initial support for the French Revolution gave way to revulsion when he discovered how radically different it was to the American experiment. [To accuse Jefferson back then of being a “Jacobin” would be like accusing someone today of being a “Communist”.] Like many of his mentors & comrades, Obama rejects many of the foundational aspects of the American Revolution. Like many Democrat leaders, he seeks to transform the US into a more European-styled form of socialized democracy (& all that such a change would entail). Taking his cue from Saul Alinsky & Bill Ayers, he understands that the revolution must be gradual & granular in order to be effective in the long term. Democrats expecting a repeat of the Clinton years will be disappointed – & some of them might even be shocked at what they & their comrades have unwittingly helped to create.
So too will “Obamacoms” (conservative/Republican supporters of Obama) who currently think that – like Clinton – Obama will put aside the campaign rhetoric of “change” & get down to the “business” of governing such as cutting deals & keeping certain power blocks in Washington happy. RINOs, DINOs, & many segments of the pro-Obama public will soon experience “buyer’s remorse” when they discover – too late – that Obama is an ideologue who harbors a lethal mix of Wilsonian pretensions, Cateresque caution, & visions of being the “transformational” black version of Reagan (without having Reagan’s wealth of experience in dealing with conflicting constituencies). If Obama is sincere in his radical aspirations – & I believe he is – then we may experience a repeat of political warfare within the Democrat Party itself (let alone a fight with Republicans) not seen since the early days of Tip O’Neil.
I certainly admire Obama’s brilliant campaign to win the presidency. I respect his best attributes as a man & I hope the better angels of his nature prove to dominate his thinking as President & not the darker side of his personality. Some people can grow into a job & master it; other people allow a job to overwhelm them. As a member of the loyal opposition, I’ll praise him when such praise is deserved & criticize him when such criticisms are equally warranted. Obama is now my president & I want to wish him well in helping to run the country we both love. But I’m extremely concerned over what his ideology portends. I’m waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop. I’m waiting to exhale.