Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Hail to the Chief!

Congratulations, President Elect Barack Obama, on your historic victory in yesterday’s US Presidential election. That’s a singular accomplishment, given your path through life and a grueling 2 year campaign.

Congratulations, fellow citizens who voted for and placed so much hope, treasure, and dedicated effort to have your Man win the White House, and for the near-equal accomplishment of increasing majorities in Congress. The people have spoken, for whatever change they hope for, expect, or otherwise anticipate, and placed a special trust in your party. This, at a time of extreme economic uncertainty and grave threats and dangers to US National Security.

I was a reluctant supporter of John McCain, but regret that he and Governor Palin were unsuccessful in their uphill battle against a juggernaut of disenchantment, obvious political acumen, and even more obvious mainstream media complicity. I considered them preferable candidates over an inexperienced but charismatic Obama and an erratic Senator Biden.

The events of 9/11 have dictated most of my political positions since. Democratic Party reactions to the challenges of global terror, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, gross disrespect shown by antiwar Democrats towards US service men and women have further caused me to feel totally estranged from 50% of my fellow citizens, including the entirety of my family and many people I had respected and admired.

I remember being a reluctant supporter of one George Bush in 2000, and suffered through the five weeks of turmoil that events in Florida engendered. Reasonable people may disagree on what 2000 symbolized for America, but the protracted fight over the election poisoned political discourse in the US ever since.

I am greatly relieved that we will not be replaying such a political transition this year. I can appreciate how joyous, excited, gratified, and justified feel the supporters of the President Elect.

As an American, I am also very proud of my fellow citizens, who through a consensus of those who felt obliged to vote for the “minority” candidate, or out of racial solidarity, with complete color blindness, or with an imperfect collection of prejudices chose Obama as either the best of options or the lesser of evils. Motivations are varied, and often complex, but judged by results, America affirmed its promise and its better nature in electing President Barack Obama.

On January 20th, 2009, he will become my Commander in Chief. I won’t submit my retirement papers, and I will strive to show him the respect to which he is entitled. I will follow orders, however much I may disagree with them, just as I did with the two prior Commanders in Chief.

I offer the following recommendations to the new President before his new position might make that inappropriate.

The United States has been hated, resented, and opposed throughout the world for the past 50 years and more. President Bush became a lightning rod for enmity, scorn, insult, and opposition, but did not create anti-US animus, nor will it abate with you at the helm. You don’t have to take my word for it, you’ll find out. We have not caused all the problems in the world; rather, we are one of the few forces for good, and one of the only true Western Democracies that has lifted so much as a finger for oppressed Muslims the world over. Don’t believe the propaganda, because it will offer you precious little comfort when history resumes.

Ruthless opportunists will use any pretext to advance their own interests at the expense of ours. Everyone will have their hands out. Place US interests above the interests of others, and see how fast you become the new poster child for US imperialism, and your figure the model for effigy.

Your military is the finest, most professional military in the world. If you demonstrate that you value our achievements, preserve our victories, allow us to win, and reward us with true fidelity and respect, we will follow you anywhere you ask us to go. We will get the job done, without respect to party or person.

Before you and your compatriots launch the New New Deal, take some time to reconsider the Old New Deal, even if throughout your academic and political career you’ve never seen the need. Try to make it through Liberal Fascism or The Forgotten Man, or even review the latest study from UCLA, estimating the FDR prolonged the Depression an extra 7 years. (Quite a feat, making the Great Depression Great, when it might have been merely bad.)

Raising taxes, sharing the wealth, redistributing income, punishing economic activity, constraining business, all at a time of economic recession and retrenchment: these will all be recipes for financial chaos, diminished economic activity, falling standards of living for all, and political ruin.

Reward good behavior and allow consequences to punish bad. Doing the opposite will create incentives for more bad. It will also discourage and distress those who will most faithfully do the right thing, even if it’s not in their immediate interest.

You are a testimony to accomplishment, to opportunity offered, and taken, to great effect, with the highest of achievement. Don’t discount or diminish your own accomplishment by assuming that others need more of a helping hand than you did. If it was too easy, if others made all the effort for your reward, would you have accomplished what you have?


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