Well, a positive note from the election results is that John McCain is not the next president. If the Democrats had chosen anybody less worrisome than Obama, the results wouldn’t have been even as close as they were.
Although it certainly stretched the truth to say that a McCain administration would have been a third Bush term, the Senator would most definitely have allowed the perpetuation of the Left’s stratagem of tarring conservatism with Republican policies that by no means deserved the label. Now conservatives can rebuild free of the weight of inaccurate characterization. Sometimes incremental adjustments of bearing simply don’t make the turn before the moment has passed.
Another positive note is that a segment of the country that had been drifting away from faith in the mechanisms of United States governance have had that faith renewed. An open democratic competition can bring anybody to the controls, if enough people are motivated to make it happen.
Therein lies Obama’s challenge: His rhetoric about anything being possible in the United States of America is antipathetic to the policies that he has expressed and supported as a Senator. He is the president elect because he was free to dissent — both from the government and from the party — and because people were free to organize in his behalf and to collect large sums of money, freely given. He marketed and sold himself and had sufficient windfall profits to reinvest in his candidacy.
That possibility is of a piece with America’s approach to business and to personal freedom. Yet, were he to keep his promises, were he to behave so as to preserve his followers’ faith in the system, were he to enact even some moderate portion of their lunatic vision, he would necessarily have to contradict the principles that made his rise possible.
Perhaps he’ll grow in office and turn his back on his own past. Style-wise, his presentation as an erudite black man will undo the damage of many a gansta rapper. Perhaps some inner-city child will send him a letter that makes the choice explicit and The One, himself, will have an epiphany.
Probably not, but this is, after all, the land of opportunity.