Glenn Reynolds: “Whoever Wins, Chill A Bit”
You don’t have to love the “other guy.” You don’t have to hold back on fighting against policies you don’t like. You don’t have to pull punches. But once someone is duly and legally elected president, you do owe some respect to the office and the Constitution. And to your fellow Americans.
I have made a point of teaching my own children that no matter how much one of them may disagree with the president on any specific issue (as I often have during George W. Bush’s tenure), they need to hold a respect for the office of the presidency … I also get annoyed when I hear progressives threaten to “move to France” or “defect to Canada” if their candidate loses. Frankly, if your civic investment in American democracy is so weak that it hinges on one single candidate or issue or election, then you probably would be happier elsewhere anyway…
My summation—for tonight, at least: the American people have hated Bush long and hard, for a number of reasons. They are repudiating everything about him and almost everyone who is connected with him. Obama happened to be the beneficiary, almost as though sent by central casting to meet the needs of an electorate that was looking for the un-Bush. I don’t think people were ready or willing to seriously look at who this man actually is and what he’s been saying, and he’s smooth enough to cover it up quite nicely anyway.
How will he govern? Will his recent incarnation as a relative moderate hold, or will he steer hard left? Even though I’ve found plenty of evidence to indicate the latter, I’m still hoping for the former. Stranger things have happened. Obama may feel the weight of responsibility, especially as the first black President, to not squander the goodwill of the public by alienating them with too many radical policies. Or he may really undergo a sea change towards the center as he adjusts to the powerful responsibilities inherent in being President.
I’m not being naive and saying it will happen. I am saying it is a possibility, and I plan to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Still More: Bill Whittle:
When he is inaugurated, President Obama will be my president. He cannot be otherwise. I will disagree with him at just about every turn, likely, and that is my right and duty as an American. However, in an emergency he will have my unqualified support, and I will always wish him wisdom and hope that he may do what is best for this great country of ours. I do not wish – I do not ever wish – to see my country suffer so that I may gain political leverage. If at this same time four years from now, President Obama has acted in such a way to make us more prosperous, more safe and more free, it will be my greatest pleasure to admit I was wrong about the man. I look forward to that day. I hope to see it come to pass.
Regardless of all of that, we have together achieved something noble and magnificent tonight. We have, after a long and hazardous journey, taken the final step in erasing the one real stain on our nations history. That war is not over, but it is won. And we may all take a great deal of pride in that.