Change Has Come

January 22, 2009

(Written on Inauguration Day, and embargoed for a day in the interests of letting Mr. Obama and his voters enjoy their day)

I get it. I understand that today was an historic day. I understand the majesty of the peaceful transition of power. I felt chills when Aretha Franklin sang and Yo-Yo Ma played. I smiled at Sasha and Malia. I recognize the pride that Mr. Obama must have felt as the responsibilities of the free world settled on him.

I probably cannot fully appreciate the momentousness of the occasion for African-Americans. They probably never could have imagined that less than 150 years after the horrors of slavery were ended (by a Republican), less than 46 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed (by Republicans), and less than 42 years after the assassination of Dr. King (a Republican), that an African-American man would win the Presidency by a substantial margin. Standing in the Mall, seeing this happen, must have been like a dream. One can overlook the 87-year-old Rev. Lowery’s benediction, which he ended by hoping that “white will embrace what is right.” He is of the pre-civil rights era. I am of the post Civil Rights Act era, where racism has never been considered anything but vile, and I admit being hurt by the implication.

What astounded me, watching the proceedings, was the utter rapture of the million or so who came to witness. I cannot think of an inauguration in my lifetime with NO protests. I was astonished at the volume of the cheers. The love of so many for this man may truly be unprecedented.

Here’s the thing. I am incapable of being disappointed in Mr. Obama. I know what is coming: a drastic diminution of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution; removal of all protection for the unborn and for those whose consciences forbid participation in abortion and in the creation of human life merely to harvest embryonic stem cells; the Fairness Doctrine; citizenship rights for illegal aliens; punitive taxes on the productive; the treatment of terrorism as crime rather than an act of war; the weakening of defense and intelligence; the rejection and isolation of Israel; more bail outs with coerced taxpayer money; continuing energy dependence; unconditional negotiation with our enemies; the unfettered growth of government control over the lives of the people. As these things happen, I won’t be surprised. If they don’t happen, I will be pleasantly surprised.

Some of Mr. Obama’s followers will be disappointed. Not all–these changes are what some of them want. “Some people just want to watch the world burn,” as it’s said in The Dark Knight. But when people still have to pay their mortgages; when the earth doesn’t cool; when evil men still want to hurt us for Allah despite our hopey changiness; when Socialism and punitive taxation don’t cure the problems that Big Government has wrought; some of those cheering on the Mall today will be disappointed. A lot of people voted for the pragmatic centrist–they’re going to be appalled when Mr. Obama governs in the only way he knows how–the way that made him the most liberal member of the Senate in his short tenure there. Mr. Obama cannot live up to the heroic estimation of his most ardent followers, or to the media. My opinion of him can only go up–theirs can only go down. That is the seed of the conservative revolutions of 2010 and 2012.

Some of the rapture today was a rest from history. We were shocked and scared when the terrorists committed atrocities on our own soil. We were tired of a war that a much-maligned Secretery of Defense warned us would be a long slog. We believed the media’s tales about how our economic woes were solely the result of evil capitalism. A majority of us freely voted for the man who promised to take war away, to deal with terrorism as crime, to win back “the world’s” love for us, to provide for our energy, health care, housing, and all our needs. On Inauguration Day, a million or so celebrated that break from history.

Just because we hide from reality, it doesn’t stop being there. When the people finally realize all they have voted for, the buyer’s remorse will be immense. May it not come too late.

Will conservatism be there to pick up the pieces? One can hope for the change.

*******************

From today, Obama Snubs Medal of Honor Ball. Change!

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