So what to do now? He's here, and duly elected. Well . . . I guess I already started election night. It was my night to conduct Tuesday evening children's church, and as it began here, Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio were still in flux even as New Mexico was going blue. So I took my Blackberry in with me and promised the kids I would let them know something as soon as I knew anything. I kept refreshing the news screen every few minutes. As soon as the electoral call was official, I announced it to the kids, letting them know that Barack Obama was elected to be our nation's 44th President.
Needless to say, this did not receive the rousing approbation it perhaps received over there at Trinity United Church in Chicago, and the already rowdy class was supplemented with the predictable booing.
I hushed the class down, and engaged them for a minute. I then led the class in prayer for Mr. Obama, praying for both his protection as well as asking God to grant him wisdom. The booing subsided after that.
Here is where I stand: I simply refuse to do to Barack Obama what our media and the rest of the hard left did to George Bush; they did not simply oppose him. They hated him. The effigies, the movies with stream-of-consciousness fantasies about his assassination, the continual, ankle-biting and hellish bloodlust to take the man down and undermine him even before the tower embers died out. I will have none of that. And I believe that is something that fundamentally sets the two polar regions apart: We have no lionized William Ayers' in our camp. We ultimately marginalize our kooks and drive them to Siberia. Too bad Mr. Obama's intelligence did not lead him to do the same, otherwise, I'd be a lot less jumpy about what he plans to do.
That does not mean, however, that the man's ideas are not of limits for high mockery, when the time warrants. And there is nothing unpatriotic about protesting his plans for high taxes and socialized markets. I for one can oppose him loudly and with great passion. But, unlike the hard left, you will never see me with a shirt saying "Mr. Obama is Not My president!" Because he will be my president. And though I oppose nearly every policy he has elaborated, I still find his election as significantly historic as anyone who did vote for him.
BUT WHY THE SMART-ALECKY TITLE?
Primarily this stems from the fact that Mr. Obama has already learned that the rest of the world will be largely unimpressed with the race factor in our election and expect him to actually lead in some respect. This became evident when Russia started rattling America's atomic cage six hours after the hard results started pouring in. Then, of course we have this little gem from the AP, which contains the following, expectation-lowering bombshell:
WASHINGTON (AP) — As president-elect, Barack Obama faces a tricky task as he begins dealing ever more directly with the economic meltdown, grappling with the worst financial crisis in seven decades but not yet wielding the power to do much about it.
He won't be a participant at President Bush's global summit next week, although the 20 leaders attending are no doubt keenly interested in his views. And he may have to eventually push back against some members of his own party in Congress over details of a new plan to stimulate the economy.
Add to that, ABC News' concern that Mr. Obama's Choice of Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff may cause the new president to start running with a wheel in the sand with the Arab world right out of the gate. Mind you, Mr. Emanuel is a hard-left guy. But his middle name is "Israel." Rev. Wright's probably connected to an intraveinous Versed drip over the matter as we speak.
So I truly pray for Mr. Obama. He intends to lead the country that my little girls know to be their home. He has the charisma and poise that sometimes goes with great presidents. I just pray that realities dictate policy, more than the blind idealism that galvanized him early on. I'd like him to be a great leader, and our country the better for it.