It’s official. As of noon yesterday, Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. Despite the truly horrible history of how black people have been treated in this country, we’ve just elected a black man to the highest office in the land.
It’s not the fulfillment of Martin Luther King’s dream. It’s not the end of racism, but it is the point in history at which the end of racism became inevitable. It is something we should all be proud of.
So let’s enjoy it while we can, because this is the highpoint of the Obama Presidency. It’s all downhill from here.
As the most glamourous presidential candidate in decades, his supporters have been projecting their hopes and dreams onto Obama for almost two years. He’s been Harry Potter’s Mirror of Erised, reflecting back their heart’s desire.
That’s all about to change. Starting today, his ambitions are going to get a lot more specific and concrete than just “change” and “renewal” and “rebuilding.” Starting today, we’re going to judge him not on what he says, but on what he does and—even more importantly—on what he accomplishes.
If you have high hopes for Obama, he’s going to disappoint you. He has to. He’s made over 500 campaign promises, and he can’t possibly keep them all. He hasn’t even given his daughters their new puppy yet.
If Obama wants to get anything done, he’s going to have to make some tradoffs, and then his choices will reveal his true nature. His supporters will find out what his presidency is really all about. They’ll find out which of them he really loves, and which get left in the cold.
As a libertarian, I have little to look forward to in an Obama administration. The most I can hope for is that he’ll undo Bush’s threats to our civil liberties without doing too much violence to our economic freedom. And maybe…maybe…as a black man who’s lived in an American city, he’ll do something to stop the police from trampling our rights…instead of giving them federal funding to do so.
Or maybe I’m just catching a glimpse of the Mirror of Erised myself.
The reality can never live up to the dream, and starting today, the reality of the Obama presidency is unavoidable. Whatever it is, here it comes.
THE highpoint? While I agree that there is no way anyone could do everything Obama has set out to do, I still have high hopes. Besides, I don’t know if he actually PROMISED to do all those things, but rather recognizes the need for them to be done and having a true desire to accomplish these goals. There’s a lot to be said for Hope. I know I’m probably not going to win the Lottery, but if I’m going to have better than no chance, I have to at least play.
There will be many high points for me in this presidency, I expect. The main one, is regaining some global respect and no longer feeling like I have to apologize for being an American.
Mark Draughn says
Hey Gary, you read the blog! I’m touched! Make your next response in the form of a blog article and we can start a 4- to 8-year blog fight to make things more exciting around here! :-)
I admit, there are a few things Obama might do get himself another good day or three, but we’ve seen a lot of presidents come in with big plans that never materialize.
Besides, he’s going to do things that suck, and if he sucks for 100 days and then does something wonderful, I’m not sure that will get him back above today.
It will be interesting to watch his approval ratings.
Joel Rosenberg says
Me, I’m looking forward to all of his accomplishments. I think, with some real perseverance and dedication, he’ll be able to buy his kids that puppy.