A Wistful Vote

Well, I voted. There are all kinds of good things about voting today.

-I get to add my contribution to the political process.
-Lines were short.
-No more abuse for my unorthodox political perspectives.
-One less thing for which to be called an argumentative person.
-It looks like almost all of my political predictions are going to come true (I thought Guiliani would do better, but otherwise I nailed most of them).

But that said, I did it with a bit of wistfulness. I voted for George W. Bush both times he ran, and am glad I did so. I will miss him. I think he was an excellent President in many respects.

-I believe he sought to lead in a morally consistent way. He sought to limit stem cell research on embryos, but expanded AIDS relief in Africa. He did more to fight the sex slave trade than any other president, and chose excellent judges who do not view abortion as a right. His tenure was marked by thoughtfulness and character rather than responsiveness to opinion polls.

-I believe he made courageous decisions, such as propping up an economy on the edge of disaster even though his own party was against it. He wanted the nation to be stable, and acted accordingly even though it seemed to go against his own party. He did so in spite of opinion polls.

-I believe he understood his role as a figurehead in times of crisis. His ability to deliver hope and strength exactly when we neeeded it were remarkable. He helped the nation heal quickly after September 11, and carried out justice as best we understood it. He only delivered a few great speeches, but those were truly great. Rather than focus on himself and his ability to fix problems, he guided us to faith in something higher as the source of hope. And he did not give speeches designed to respond to opinion polls.

-I think the justification for the Iraq war was badly communicated, but I think it was the strategically correct move and I believe our nation will reap the rewards (not primarily financial) for generations to come. I think Iraq and indeed the Middle East are significantly better off because President Bush saw a larger need for significant change in that region, and he followed through in a way that UN always has and likely always will be too weak to emulate. And he did not capitulate because of opinion polls.

-I believe he truly cared about us. But he cared too much to try to give us everything we asked for, because George W. Bush is not beholden to opinion polls.

I think these things make him a great man and president, as opposed to his predecessor, who DID build most of his actions around opinion polls.

So today I cast my vote for Barack Obama, because I believe he will be better for the nation on the whole in executing the office of president and casting vision for the people. But I also heave a sigh, because I will miss that brief period when we had a President too stubborn to listen to anything but his own moral clarity.

Thank you, Mr. President.


blbartlett said...

Two excellent posts ben. I learn so much from you, but don't expect me to reiterate what you just said.

blbartlett said...

opps...it's Samantha btw...not yourself.