With the precedent-shattering election of an African-American, Barack Obama, as president, one must believe that the innate good sense and faith in the future of the American people have prevailed over fear, ignorance, and bigotry.
"The better angels of our nature," as Abraham Lincoln so poetically put it, have finally accomplished what Thomas Jefferson could hardly have imagined when he penned those immortal words in the Declaration of Independence: "all men are created equal."
Times of great crisis in our country have always fortuitously brought forth presidential leadership supremely suited to the challenges at hand. And so it is today that, as improbable as the story of America itself, a black man has come out of relative obscurity to lead this nation in its hour of grave economic peril.
Will his deeds match his inspiring words? In all particulars, undoubtedly not. For compromise is the essence of politics, and Mr. Obama's days in office will test his temperament, judgment, and intelligence as never before in his life. So too will our complicated tripartite system of federal government be tested as it hasn't since the Great Depression and World War II.
Yet, just as we have survived great crises before, so too shall we survive this one. And if Providence grants Mr. Obama the time, energy, and wisdom to serve his country with distinction, then the causes of American democracy and America's place in the world will be immeasurably enhanced.
Husky would make a good 'First Dog'
President-elect Obama is trying to decide on what kind of dog to get for the family. Perhaps he should consider a Siberian husky. Or better yet, how about an Alaskan malamute?
It will be a wild ride with Dems in charge
Of all the wounds one might endure, the most indignant is the one that is self-inflicted. It was just over 30 years ago that this country entered that dark period remembered only as "The Carter Years," and now we've done it to ourselves all over again. How quickly we forget the lessons we pay so dearly for.
Neither Jimmy Carter nor Barack Obama was elected because he was the most qualified for the position but because the previous administration was so vilified. President-elect Obama didn't run against John McCain but against the Bush Administration. Likewise, Mr. Carter ran not against Gerald Ford but against the Nixon Watergate fiasco.
We've forgotten how the Carter triad (House plus Senate plus White House) introduced us to the misery index. Making sure that everyone felt the pain was the mantra of the time. High inflation, high interest rates, high unemployment, and high taxes for starters. Oh yes, we are certainly headed back to the good old days.
Don't forget that the last time the Democrats held the triad was during the first two years of the first Clinton administration. And what was the single accomplishment of those two years of Democratic control? It was the largest tax increase in the history of the country to include the taxation (for the first time) of Social Security benefits.
Hang on to your seats, folks. For at least the next two years, we're in for one hell of a ride.
But being ever the optimist, I take heart in the words of Newt Gingrich. It was he who reminded me that if it weren't for the total failure of the Carter administration, we might never have had a chance to enjoy the prosperity of the Reagan years.
So, how long can you hold your breath?
'Them vs. us' is still in fashion it seems
The day before the election, Blade columnist S. Amjad Hussain, whose IQ is well above room temperature, accused Sen. John McCain of anti-Muslim sentiments and called this genuine American hero a coward.
Now if a smart person can manufacture an offense from the quotes he used in the article, what can we expect from dolts?
Will we never rid ourselves of this "them versus us" mentality?
Joseph T. O'Leary
Unite behind Obama for sake of country
Let me add my voice to the chorus of those proclaiming Sen. Barack Obama's victory as a proud and momentous moment in American history. Anyone of any political persuasion who was not moved as things unfolded Nov. 4 needs to take a hard look at themselves and their true motivations.
There is now a much-needed window of opportunity for some real political unity in this country, something that has been missing for a long time.
Four years ago, I disparaged those Democrats who vowed that President Bush would never be "their president," would move to Canada, etc. While the Bush Administration can rightly be blamed for many of the problems today, it's also true that the intransigence of the opposition contributed significantly as well.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. My Republican friends, always the first to proclaim their patriotism, now have the chance to show it by uniting behind the president-elect - and truly demonstrate that "Country First" was not just an empty motto on political placards.
If the current administration proved anything, it's that power and authority - be it political, military, or economic - is a finite resource that is diminished each time it is used in excess. The Obama philosophy of "yes, we can" should be an improvement over the Bush approach of "because I can."
But either way, anyone who digs in and roots for the president to fail because he's not "their guy" - whether it's during a Bush presidency or an Obama one - is, as far as I'm concerned, about as anti-American as you can get.
McCain supporters must stay engaged
The presidential campaign was rarely pretty for either side but it is our system and it is the best way we know to choose who will represent us for the next four years. On Nov. 4, we made that choice. There was no controversy at the polls and no recount required. Barack Obama will be the president of the United States.
I have already heard some of you grumbling, declaring an Obama presidency a failure before it has begun, pledging to sit with arms crossed waiting for a mistake to prove a point. This isn't so surprising, and, had John McCain won, I can't say that I would've reacted any better.
I respect your right to grieve.
What I do not respect is your right to use bitterness as an excuse to disengage from the conversation that this election began. If there is one thing to be learned from the long election season, it is that we are strongest when we challenge one another, we are smartest when we learn from one another, and we are at our best when we find solutions together.
So, come January, we will need you more than ever.
We will need you, not to support Mr. Obama's policies but to question his logic; not to agree with his stances but to oppose his beliefs. You must make your voice heard through strong local, state, and national campaigns, and through peaceful protest to ensure that the Democratic Party does not take its power for granted or lose its sense of perspective.
We know where a disenfranchised and disinterested electorate will be led, and that is a path down which we cannot afford to continue.
McCain's SUV is symbol of problem
Am I the only one or did anyone else notice the sport utility vehicle Sen. John McCain was driving when he left one of his eight homes to go vote? It was a Toyota. No wonder our American automakers are having trouble. Buy American, my friends!
President-elect Barack Obama promises "hope" and "change." I sincerely "hope" the "change" isn't simply a matter of bringing back all of the Washington insiders who have been outsiders for the last eight years.
Delmer O. Gasche