Skip to comments.Cut Obama some slack, wait and listen
Posted on 11/07/2008 6:11:45 AM PST by John David Powell
The first comment I received from someone not on my television screen regarding the election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States came via email early the day after the election. It asked simply, Now what? Those two words coalesced the questions facing not only our new president, but also the people of our nation, regardless of ideology or political affiliation.
Now we wait, I replied, and guard the house, and protect the chickens, and peer deep into the night and listen.
It occurred to me that my reply may sound skeptical, indeed fearful, of Mr. Obama. Quite the contrary. I meant to point out folks should react cautiously, but not anxiously. Those who did not vote for him have no need to grab their rifles, run out into their yards with hair aflame, and fire blindly at imagined intruders.
Those who voted for the current Mr. Bush the first time must remember their outrage when supporters of Al Gore derided the nations new leader before he could prove himself one way or the other.
Yes, there was much anger and even considerable suspicion regarding the election, bad feelings that remain to this day. But its different this time. The outcome is clear. No chads hanging the election in the balance. Back then, in 2000, Mr. Gore received half a million more votes than Mr. Bush. This week, Mr. Obama outpolled Mr. McCain by more than seven million votes. Even though he did not win, Mr. McCain received more votes than Messrs. Bush and Gore and even Ronald Reagan in either of his landslide elections.
Mr. Obama will become president of a nation divided strongly along many lines. Nearly 56 million of his fellow citizens preferred another candidate, another set of ideas, another plan for change. He will learn on the job, as did every other president before him, the best way to lead his nation in the direction he believes best. In the process, he will lose many of his followers, people who want to take their leader to places he does not, or cannot, go. He will find, as did every other president before him, that the Oval Office is a lonely and confining place.
Thats why we the people need to cut him some slack and resist the temptation to nitpick, to continue the mean-spiritedness that has infected our nation and has made a sport out of making sport of someone we dont particularly like. The level of political intolerance and nasty rhetoric seems to have increased considerably during the last couple of years. Were the commentators and comedians to blame or did the campaigns set the tone that others mimicked? It doesnt matter today. The election is over and both candidates, in their respective concession and acceptance speeches, achieved the level of eloquence we should see during a campaign, not just at the end.
Mr. McCain began his speech by asking the crowd to stop booing at the name of Barack Obama. And then he urged his supporters to join him in congratulating the next president and in offering Mr. Obama our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromise to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited. Whatever our differences, he continued, we are fellow Americans.
It is natural, he said, to feel disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.
Mr. Obama echoed in his acceptance speech that call for national unity. He told the world that the citizens of our nation have never been a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
And then, on a night filled with history, he called forward the memory of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican from Illinois, who was the first to carry his partys banner to the White House. As Lincoln said to a nation more divided than ours, he said, we are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
That statement answers the second email I received the morning after the election, sent by a person who wrote, He will never be MY president. Our political system, the envy of the world, allows us to embrace fully the victor while guarding the house and peering deep into the night and listening. Then, if we find ourselves at odds with what comes to our front door, we can take up our ballot, not our rifle, and change our leadership again.
John David Powell is an award-winning Internet columnist and writer. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cut some slack? Sounds like he sure is hiring Rahmbo as his top guy. He’s going to “reach” across the aisle... and bash their heads in.
then cut your own throat.
Yeah. Do nothing until it is too late.
So, Mr. Obama is going to be the president of all us bitter people, too? This article is dribble. The public doesn't even know the man they elected.
Already lowering the expectations.
Then he asks Rahm Emmanuel to be his Chief of Staff.
Unity? Unity? Are you kidding???
That worked out pretty well in Germany a few years back, huh. I'd perfer they didn't get all the way to my front door before I stepped away from the koolaid.
When it comes to abortion and socialism I reserve my right to nitpick.
There isn’t any need to act like moonbat libs, but while you’re busy ‘cutting slack’, we’ll be working to stop his plans to destroy this country.
That will be a cold day in Hell. Obama is a Euro Socialist-Fascist puppet. He and Schwarzenegger are Euro plants. Schwarzenegger was a plant all the way back in the Carter days. This is payback for eliminating their cheap oil on the backs of tortured Middle east victims. We’ve been attacked once again. This time by Europe.
I will not "cut him slack" and I will "nitpick" every chance I get.
That two-bit street hustling wanna-be muslim is NOT my president, he will never be my president.
I put the POS on about the same level as I did the Clintoon.
At least that bumbling bozo gave me a laugh once in a while...this buffoon will give me a coronary.
Well, I, for one, will be too busy clinging to my religion and guns to cut Mr. Obama any slack.
The Democrats made life for George Bush Hell on earth for the past eight years. The temptation to do the same for Mr. Obama is very alluring.
But then, I keep thinking, what it is from, Luke, “Judge not lest you be judged...?”
Nope, I won’t cut him any slack, but I will be watching intently.
“That’s why we the people need to cut him some slack and resist the temptation to nitpick, to continue the mean-spiritedness that has infected our nation and has made a sport out of making sport of someone we donât particularly like.”
Your advice is at the very least seriously misguided.
You are telling people to just accept whatever Obama does, quietly hand him over our 401Ks, don’t dare criticize him, so we won’t appear to be “meanspirited” and learn to chant “Obama, Obama”.
Cut him some slack?
In a word: