Okay, I wrote most of this originally as a response to a comment from lightning36, a poker blogger whom I respect and like on both counts, his pokerin' and his bloggerin'. He's one tough mother at the tables, and a rather thoughtful and well-reasoned dude. I like the cut of his jib.
Anyway, comments to days' old posts tend to go unread, so I thought I'd share a somewhat less partisan view of what the election next week may mean, and what may result.
And sure, it's probably vain as hell to copy and paste from a comment to a comment to a post, into a brand new post, but fuck it, it's my blog, in'nit?
I'll be the first to admit that there's no way any of us can actually know what the next four years will bring, under a presidency of either candidate. At this point, I'm nearly certain Barack Obama is going to win. I think the Dems will come away with 57 seats in the Senate (and can make Lieberman the senatorial eunuch he deserves to be), and the Dems will significantly expand their majority in the House. Legislation will require some measure of bipartisan ship, because there will not be a filibuster-proof majority, and besides, the Democrats aren't exactly a lock-step party that votes on legislation as a single block.
I truly hope that as president, Barack Obama is all that I think he can be. Yes, he is inexperienced on the national stage, when compared to people like Biden and McCain. However, he is extremely bright and intelligent, and I do think he will surround himself with people much brighter than I am, and people who actually have the country's best interests in mind, rather than a small cabal of oil industry friends. I do believe the national agenda will not be set by a few oil captains to whom the administration has been indebted to for their livelihood.
But that's just it, isn't it? No one can truly predict the future, and voting for any candidate involves a certain amount of faith that you're making the right choice.
I've said many times there are certainly valid and legitmate reasons for a voter to support one candidate over the other. I can't ever conceive becoming a single-issue voter (particularly when it comes to some sort of cultural wedge issue that is not determinative of whether the United States continues to exist as a viable nation). But I can grasp that there are people out there for whom a single issue is all they care about, or that to them, a candidate's stance on a single issue tells them all they need to know on how they might view every other issue of significance.
I also think that in this particular case, there are some invalid reasons related to factors such as race-based fear and paranoia, but I don't personally know anyone in my own life to whom I would ascribe that line of thinking. I am pleased to not personally know anyone who is not voting for Obama because he is black, or on the other hand, is voting for Obama because he is black.
In my case, a lot of of my decision on this vote had to do with knowing that we simply can't afford another four years of "my way or the highway" cowboy diplomacy, because like it or not, we do not live in a one superduperpower world. Not when our economy is inextricably intertwined with so many others', not when our military is too far stretched to be able to be solely responsible for imposing world order, not when much of the civilized world feels like they've been lied to by America once too often. I believe Barack Obama will be a big part of restoring the world's faith in America, and not simply our own, which is equally important. I believe that after a Barack Obama presidency, much of our former place of standing in the world will be restored, such that when America calls out to the world that a certain course of action is crucial and vitally important for everyone's well-being, that the world will listen without taking the default position that we're full of crap.
But do I know beyond any doubt that this will successfully take place? No, no one truly can.
I truly hope in four years, America can look back and say they made the right one.
And you know what? If the choice is ultimately not correct, we're just going to go back and go through the whole process again, anyway, just as we have after every presidency in America's past.
Hope to also see you in the Bodonkey!
Okay, I typed "hope" four times in that post, that's a lot of Hope For Change...