Wednesday, November 05, 2008

victory lap for the winner

Beth and I had a great time at the Capitol Steps last night. Two years ago, on election night, the same crowd was surly and just a bit mean-spirited, even though their candidates were sweeping into power in Congress.

Last night was a different world. I would estimate that 90% of the audience were of a like political mind. But they laughed at all of the jokes -- even those at their own expense. (If there were any John Edwards supporters in the audience, they may not have been laughing very hard.)

And I hope I know why. Last month, in
feasting without grace, I noted that, over ten years ago, Peggy Noonan wrote in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness:
Young black men will save our country. I'm not sure completely what I mean by this but--they're tough and smart and know how to survive...

I received several email after I posted the comment noting it was, at best, offensive; at worst, racist. In support, each email listed the number of African-American politicians who have been utter failures.

Those readers missed the point, I think. Most politicians, who fail, fail because they act like politicians, rather than leaders. Race has nothing to do with that type of moral failure. Politicians tend to be equal opportunity thieves.

As of last night, Peggy Noonan's prediction may come true. At least, there will be a chance for it to come true.

I wish President-elect Obama the best of luck. He is going to have the benefit of high hopes and the drag of high expectations. That is best symbolized by the fact that a candidate who ran as a post-racial nominee is being acclaimed for the one aspect of his personality that he claimed was the least important: his race.

Last night he talked about the fact that American was strong because governmental power is limited. If he can govern with that same sense of humility, I may finally understand Peggy Noonan's point. For the sake of us all, I hope it will be true.


Bob Mrotek said...

¡Viva America! ¡Viva Barak Obama!

glorv1 said...

Oh I wish I could be so literate as you to make a comment on this, but you know Steve...We can only hope and pray that our country will be better for this. I wish Barack Obama the best in running our country.

Steve Cotton said...

Bob -- We can hope.

Gloria -- Fortunately, no politician runs the country. Individual Americans do. But I wish him luck on the limited area where we expect government to act.

VisitLaManzanilla said...

For the first time in many years I'm proud to say I'm an American. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been to enough continents to know, “there by the grace of god go I.” Only by the luck of the draw was I born into a country of so much wealth and opportunity. But I’ve been embarrassed to admit an American in these last few years.

I cried when I watched his speech last night. This is a fantastic opportunity. Let us be hopeful, ACCOUNTABLE, Honest and make the most of this change.

Steve Cotton said...

visitlamanzanilla -- I have never been ashamed to call myself an American -- not even during the worst of the Carter, Clinton, or Bush years. American values are not dependent upon the group of politicians that manage to have their hands on the tiller. The one consistency in my voting is that no matter who I choose to vote for, they always manage to disappoint me in office. But every president has the right to the benefit of the doubt -- and we undoubtedly will be doing that soon enough. For now: we hope.

Cory said...

Both candidates gave good speeches last night. Both were humble and respectful and made meaningful comments.

McCain gave the best speech I have heard from him. I found his ability to communicate, last night, amazing.

As for the elections (not simply with the presidential outcome) ... I am saddened greatly with our seemingly rapid movement towards socialism. It has not worked elsewhere, why do people think it will work here? Or does the general populous just not understand the slippery slope of more government programs, higher taxes, punishing the successful, redistribution, and less freedom?

As far as "race" is concerned it matters not, in my mind. I hope that President Elect Obama can encourage, by his example, male minorities to live responsibly - becoming responsible leaders to their families, community, and country.

Steve Cotton said...

Cory -- If every dad (no matter what race) was as conscientious with his children as you are, there would be far less issues in this world of ours.