It seems like everybody else is writing about the greatness of the current President. I've been hearing about how much he got done on his first day in office (anyone could with 11 weeks to plan it), how he is having to stitch the Constitution back together (it's still in the glass box as far as I know), and how great a dancer he is (I think Michelle was leading - just kidding).
To be fair, I think I should write down the positive that I see currently. Even though I'm a conservative libertarian (little "l", not the libertarian party), I can see that he does have his good points. Even though his ardent supporters think he comes close to walking on water, that shouldn't keep me from seeing the good as well as the suspect. Let me explain 4 positives that I see.
The economy needs a change.
Much of economics, as I understand it, is as much about human nature and emotion as it is about GDP, bankruptcies and interest rates. Right now, the emotional state of the consumer is horrible, and for good reason. Too many folks are losing their jobs. Too many folks are walking away from mortgages that they can no longer afford. Too many folks are not buying like they used to because they are scared about what the future might bring.
It is that emotional segment of the problem that could make the downward spiral longer and deeper. A new man at the helm can help with this directly. Just having him there has lifted the sprits of millions. Hope for the economic future can help. The new administration has probably 9 months to a year to show some progress before the 'hope' effect wears off. The 2 or3 trillion dollars of stimulus/bail-out money should start having some effect before then.
He is Black.
I guess that is stating the obvious, but it is a good thing. There are a lot of white folk who carry around a lot of guilt over the way blacks have been treated through the years. I hope this eases their pain some.
There are a lot of folks (of both pallor and color) out there who feel like the system is a little less stacked against them now that the US has elected a person of color. Taking an issue like this from "It can't be done" to "It has been done" in about 9 months is remarkable and inspiring. It is a "stick in the eye" to all the bigot of the world that says "your time is past." It also says to the Europeans who have been talking down to us for the last 6 years or so, "Hey, you've got citizens of color. When are you going to catch up?" I didn't vote for him, but I don't like outsiders talking bad about my country.
He is young and tech savvy.
I'm not so young anymore, but I work in tech and enjoy much that the latest computer and entertainment technology has to offer. I can't stand the the old world monopolies of TV, cable, phone, High-speed Internet, etc. that old government think has brought us. There are better ways. Europe, for one example, is way ahead of us in high-speed Internet penetration. Net neutrality and more choices in providers of cable and Internet would be great for the country. We can even dream of legally depositing to on-line poker sites one day. Sigh.
The conservative movement needs him.
Lord knows that the conservative movement has been lost since the end of the Reagan administration. First GHW Bush compromised with the democratic congress and raised taxes while they ignored their side of the bargain (lowering spending). That led directly to Clinton's election. Since then, the democrats have talked more (yet done next to nothing) about conservative ideologies than have republicans. The republican congress that came in with the Contract for America flittered away its leadership opportunity with moral and political corruption. 9/11 put the last nail in the conservative coffin by ending all talk of smaller government.
That is where the stomping of the republicans in the election of 2008 come in. Now the conservatives will have an opportunity to get back to the values of smaller government, lower spending, strong national defense, and free enterprise. Who knows, maybe the republican party will become the conservative party again. At least I hope so. It will be a while until the message is heard, but I believe that these principles are best for the country and all its people in the long run. The liberal economics are like no-interest balloon mortgages. They are great for those things that we want now, but maybe can't afford. Things seem so much better for a while, until the real bills come due. (Note: I'm talking economic policy here, not social policy. That will have to be another post.)
If President Obama embraces smaller government, lower spending, strong national defense, and free enterprise, I'll be among his biggest fans. However, I really don't think he is strong enough to control his own party (read: Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, et al) and that will put a more radical wing of the democratic party in control. I don't think most Americans will like the result. I'm willing and able to wait and see.
He is so Dreamy!
In the mean time, I reserve this space for picking on any Obama fans that are still acting like infatuated teenage girls (except for those that are infatuated teenage girls, of course).