Well, it finally happened. Barack Obama actually won the election and handily, surprising all the cynics and curmudgeons and worry-worts among us. Apparently our country isn't quite as ignorant or racist or whatnot as one sometimes is led to think. Good for us! (Although ignorance and racism and whatnot do still exist -- as evidenced by anyone eavesdropping on those old guys talking in the corner booth at Denny's on any random Tuesday morning. But I digress...)
Obama's victory is historic for any number of reasons. The first black president, the first post-baby boomer president, and so on and so forth. And whether the vote was one for hope and change or one final repudiation of the Bush/Cheney near-dictatorship, what we get is the opportunity to correct all that has gone wrong over the past eight years and set a new course into the 21st century. That's a good thing.
What pisses me off, however, are all those conservatives and Republicans and media pundits who keep insisting that Obama has to "govern to the center" and be all bi-partisan and such. These are the same people who insisted that Bush had a "mandate" with much smaller popular and electoral vote majorities in 2000 and 2004, and set about ramrodding their ultra-conservative agenda down everyone's throats. Democrats, liberals, and even moderates were marginalized in particularly ruthless fashion; the Bushies didn't even give lip service to that whole "govern to the center" and bi-partisan thing. Bush said that since he won he got to do whatever he want, the other 49.5% of the country be damned. And look what happened.
So now the same bastards who locked the Democrats away for the past eight years now want those same Democrats to play nice with them and include them in all their major decisions. Fuck that shit, I say. There is no reason at all for Obama and the Dems to give the defeated minority the time of day; why should they treat the righties any better than the righties treated them for the past eight years. What goes around comes around, my friends; karma demands retribution.
But we're a "center right" nation, the righties argue. Oh no, we're not, I reply. This supposedly "center right" nation just voted the supposedly most liberal member of the United States Senate into the presidency; the supposedly "center right" nation is also in support of supposedly liberal issues such as universal health care and against staunch conservative issues as abortion bans. No matter what the pundits might say, the facts are clear that this is a center left nation, a land of closet progressives with socialist leanings. Obama should keep this clearly in mind as he moves forward, and not be tempted to placate the whining minority.
The conservative elite have a lot of balls, I'll give them that. They take a slim win and call it a mandate, then take a major loss as a basis for co-governance with the winning side. The real winners -- Obama and the American people -- shouldn't listen to this massive spin. To the winners go the spoils, to the losers go four years (at least) in the political wilderness. Let the Republicans deal with the fact that they're the ones that are out of touch; the rest of us have more important work to do rebuilding our country. That's the real change ahead.
But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.