Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Of Things to Come

It's been two weeks since The Election, and I've been thinking about the outcome and its implications.

To my friends and readers who supported Mr. Obama, may we all have joy in your choice. For will-we or nil-we, you have dragged a large number of the population along with you. May none of us have cause to rue it.

For those of us who would have preferred the results to have been otherwise, I present, with some amendments, this list of resolutions I made late on Election Night, November 4th:

With the help of God . . .

1. I will not succumb to Obama-derangement syndrome the next four years, as so many Democrats have wilfully and luxuriously subjected themselves to Bush-derangement syndrome the past eight;

2. I will remain involved in Republican party politics, and resist the temptation to feel like It’s No Use. I will do what I can at my grassroots level to steer the party away from the Democrat-lite thinking and policies that landed us with such a lackluster presidential candidate in the first place;

3. When I supply a pulpit, I will pray for Barack Obama as president, as I have previously prayed for Bill Clinton and George Bush, according to the command of St. Paul in 1 Timothy 2:2;

4. I will resist the temptation to hope that Mr. Obama proves himself to be as harmfully radical and socialistic as his own mouth and associations have declared him to be, and I will support his policies whenever they seem to lead to good for our country;

5. I will exercise my rights as a citizen under the coming administration, affirming Barack Obama as my legally-elected president;

6. I will resist the temptation to feel that it’s pointless for me to keep working on my house, stymied by my fears that under an Obama administration I’ll probably lose it anyway;

7. I will resist the temptation to feel that I will never get a fulltime job given the likely business climate under an Obama administration, or let that give me the excuse to throw up my hands on looking for one;

8. I will not allow myself to believe that everything would be wonderful in this world, if only Mr. Obama had not been elected president;

9. I will not confuse the kingdom (nation) of the United States of America with the kingdom of God, and I will not let any awareness of decline or error in my earthly country cause me to lose hope in my heavenly city.

I do not resolve, however, to refrain from an occasional quiet but ironic laugh over how "Change!" currently seems to mean bringing back everyone and his dog from the Clinton administration . . .


Viola said...

I love your last point but they are all good.

St. Blogwen said...

You mean Resolution No. 9 (!) or the postscript? LOL!

Viola said...

The postscript of course : )

Sandy said...

Well said, as always. I, too, loved that postscript!

whiskers said...

Dear St. Blogwen,
You know I love your writing, and respect you and have deep affection for you. I am not writing this to be mean. I have a few issues with what you wrote, and a few questions in all seriousness.

About point 4: What do you find radical and socialistic? Why is a touch of socialism, to, say, fix a health care system which is on its last legs, bad?

And about his associations...I could name several people I went to high school with who are more radical than anyone with whom Obama has associated. Would you tar me with their brush because I knew them, had classes with them, or went to hear them speak?

About points 6 & 7 together. Many people over the years have lost house, job, car, family etc. and not gotten them back, despite whatever administration was currently in power. Bad things happen to good people in equal measure regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans have been in office.

There have historically been Democrats whose policies have hurt America. There have historically been Republicans whose policies have helped America. And a bad president is a bad president, whatever party he belongs to.

About point 8: There is no "everything would be wonderful". You are a practical woman, and you know that. It is simply up to us to make the best out of what we are given.

About your post script:Washington politics is pretty much a closed circuit. If you want to have people with any experience whatsoever, you bring back those who've done it before. And President Clinton was the only president since Eisenhower to balance the budget, a feat which no one after him has repeated. Would it be so bad to have the people who made and implemented those policies come back to try to do it again?

With hugs,

St. Blogwen said...

Dear Whiskers,

Do you mind if I wait a day or two to respond to your comment? I've managed to pick up a nasty infectious cold with laryngitis, and at the moment I can hardly make a sensible decision about whether to get out of bed, let alone put together a reasonable response to your points. I'm only at my computer now because I'm trying to find my walking-around glasses . . . :~P

whiskers said...

Not at all. Take all the time you want. I'm sorry to hear that you're not feeling well, and hope you get better SOONEST!!


St. Blogwen said...

Hi again, Whiskers,

I'll try to reply to your comment without writing a thesis or getting off on tangents. If I've mistaken your points and so fail to address them, let me know.

To take items in the order raised, re: No. 4, I was referring obliquely to something C. S. Lewis said somewhere, to the effect that one must always look out for and root out the desire in oneself to hear that one's opponents and enemies are the worst they can possibly be, refusing to welcome any good thing true about them. It not only offends against the Truth, it also leads to the fatal blindness of Pride.

I do not class the President-Elect as my enemy. But I believe Mr. Obama, if he can, will bring more than a "touch" of socialism to America. I think this video makes the point well enough: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkpdNtTgQNM.

When speaking of the economy, the question is, does the Federal goverment exist to ensure the rights of individual Americans or groups of Americans to create wealth and jobs and enjoy the blessings of liberty, or does it exist to be the custodian, creator, and distributor of jobs and wealth? The former position assumes that real wealth in the system is expandable, that adult citizens have the freedom and even the responsibility to better themselves, and that the government is the servant of the people. The latter position, which is socialism, assumes that wealth is finite, that it essentially belongs to the government, and that the people are the government's minor children to be taken care of. When Mr. Obama speaks of the government creating jobs and of "spreading around" what he seems to believe is a limited quantity of American wealth, I have to conclude that he is a socialist. America has already gone pretty socialistic in recent years, but he wants to take it a lot farther.

You suggest that a socialist approach to the overall health care system would be a good thing, but tell me, are the VA and Medicare presently serving their constituencies as they should? How could more top-down bureaucracy improve matters?

As for his personal associations, if we were speaking merely of people Mr. Obama knew in high school or even college, his acquaintance with people like Bill Ayers and organizations like ACORN would truly be beside the point. Even if he'd lately sat in on a lecture or two given by such individuals, that wouldn't be an issue. The problem is that he has not only associated with such people and entities and done so recently, but he has also recently participated with them in common projects that fragment, rather than build up, our unity as a people and ultimately diminish the freedoms of all Americans, of whatever class and race.

As for Nos. 6 & 7, first of all, hey, allow me a little emotionalism! I didn't say such beliefs would be reasonable, did I?

That said, I'm not as confident as I'd like for landing fulltime employment any time soon, because I see Mr. Obama's plans for increased business taxation, enforced unionization, etc., as working against job creation in the private sector. I'm not thinking Democrat vs. Republican, I'm concerned about his specific stated policies. I'm particularly apprehensive because I came out of college during the Carter years and remember the leanness of those times. And yes, I lost my job again during the recession late in the Reagan administration (and oh, yeah, got another one within the month). At this stage in my life, I find it demoralizing to think that my new president may be putting policies in place that will guarantee that the job market remains constricted until it's too late for me.

If I'm wrong and it turns out that his policies will genuinely be good for the economy (vs. creating a false system based on government paternalism), I'll be glad to admit it!

As for No. 8, again, keep in mind that I wrote these on Election Night! I was being ironic and laughing, if ruefully, at myself . . . and yes, I admit it, I was laughing at those people who, the last eight years, blamed every last bad thing that happened in America or the world on George W. Bush. I was starting to think he was the Demiurge!

You argue that Washington is a closed circuit. But wasn't fighting against that system the platform of Hope and Change that Mr. Obama ran on? Doesn't he know anybody from Illinois or wherever that he could bring in to supply new blood? I mean, sure, bring back two or three old Clinton hands, but this many? It makes me wonder if Bill and Hillary are blackmailing him (Note: Satire Alert!!!)!

Or that there are going to be a lot of very, very disappointed people when his administration turns out to be The Same Old Thing. And I'm not talking about Republicans or Libertarians, I mean those who voted for him.

You mention the balanced budget of the Clinton years (which is not the same as eliminating the national debt). If President-Elect Obama wants to bring back the people responsible, he'd better call up Newt Gingrich and the other Republicans of the Congress elected in 1994. No president can balance the national budget by himself, but he can take the blame or the credit for the job Congress does with it on his watch!

Well, that's enough. I could expand on this by adducing my career as a former liberal ("Don't blame me, I voted for McGovern!" Really), my first-hand experience with nationalised health care in the UK, and my opinions on the failures of the current administration. I could also give specific examples of Mr. Obama's past and current projects that have not been good for the body politic of these United States. But I won't unless you think it's necessary for me to prove my bona fides.

In which case I really will wait till I'm over my bronchitis!


whiskers said...

No, no, really what I wanted to see was that you had thought out your view points. I have no problem whatsoever with the fact that they differ from my own, (I'm also 27, and still slightly idealistic...) Some of your points sounded *ahem, sorry* superficial, and I wanted to make sure that there was more substance than fluff.

No offense in the world meant. I really THOUGHT that you would prove me right, (and show that you had though/reasoned about what you said) and you did. I was sort of testing my own understanding of you.

That said, please concentrate your energies on getting MUCH BETTER, and taking care of yourself.

hugs, (and scritches for all yur critters),