Saturday, November 08, 2008

To my right wing friends

I was really upset by that ugly email exchange that happened a couple of weeks ago over the election. Not so much because we disagreed so strongly but because I've come to care about you all over the years and I was afraid it would ruin the warmth and good will we've built up outside of our political differences. Your anger scared me and hurt me a little bit too. I can't tell you how cheering it was to finally take a peek today and see at least some of you still stop by to check up on me.

I try to stay away from politics on this blog and keep it as refuge from that ugly world I blogged myself into somehow but I want to clear the air so I'm going to say this. I voted for Obama for a three main reasons. First, he is young and I think the next president is going to need the energy and the fresh outlook of youth. Second, because he had the least amount of time inside the DC Village and I figure he would owe the least chits to the power brokers. And third and most importantly, I thought he was the smartest one. I didn't give him a snowball's chance in hell when he first declared and yet he built his own political machine from scratch. A machine that rolled over the Clinton machine which is very strong and as we see now, rolled over the GOP machine which is even stronger. Over time he impressed me with his calm and collected and thoughtful approach to campaigning and I honestly thought, given the choices, that he was our best hope to repair the damage of the Bush years.

All that being said, and as happy as I am to have Obama as our new president, I feel just terrible knowing what those of you who supported McCain, or just hated Obama, must be feeling. Let me reprint what I posted at DetNews on the morning after:

Although I'm still a little giddy with relief, the euphoria is rapidly wearing off and I find my natural empathy is kicking in. I remember well what it felt like at this time four years ago. The overwhelming sense of doom that settled over my spirit as I contemplated what the loss of that election would mean for the next four years. I suspect you're feeling that way today and I honestly feel for you.

I don't know what kind of President Obama is going to be. I don't think anyone can predict what a man will do with the power of this office until he steps into it. But I promise you, it won't be as bad as you may think. I believe he will be a good leader, possibly a great one. Perhaps the greatest leader we've known in our lifetime. I wouldn't have worked so hard to elect him if I didn't believe that.

And I will predict this. I think he will be much more of a moderate than you now believe is possible. I fully expect that I will find more to criticize about his administration in the long run than you will. But for today, just know that even though I didn't support your candidate, I take no joy in your disappointment and hope that we can find some common ground in the days to come.


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