Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Respecting the election

The morning of January 20, 2001 found me at the Dupont Circle metro stop waiting for a couple friends of mine. I had been given 3 tickets to the inauguration of George W. Bush and was looking forward to seeing the event, even though I hadn't voted for the man (voted Libertarian instead). While sitting there I saw some kids about my age -- early 20s -- showing up armed with anti-Bush signs and clearly ready to get their protest on. I thought it was a little interesting but figured it was just an isolated few people that had such feelings. Boy was I wrong.

Protesters showed up by the thousands, booing Bush's motorcade as it made its way to the White House and holding signs that said things like "Cokehead Frat Boy." It was but a preview of what was to come over the next 4 years in which Bush was regularly labeled as a modern day Hitler and people declared themselves sufficiently fearful that they spoke of moving to France or Canada. People confessed to losing sleep and suffering from mental anguish over the Bush presidency, leading Charles Krauthammer to coin the term Bush Dereangement Syndrome.

As much fun as it is to make fun of Democrats for this, Republicans are hardly clean in such matters with a cottage industry emerging during the Clinton Administration devoted to destroying the president. Going well beyond mere criticisms of policy, people engaged in conspiracy mongering and talk of Clinton participating in drug running and possible murders of Vince Foster and Ron Brown. Beyond how ridiculous it was, such an approach ultimately proved counter-productive as Republicans focused their efforts more on destroying the man than on governing the country -- and suffered at the polls accordingly in Clinton's second term.

With that in mind, I pledge that I will not fall victim to any temptations to engage in similar tactics under President Obama's watch. While I will criticize him mightily on policy grounds I will refuse to make it personal. He has a huge job ahead of him and I wish for the best for him and the country during his time at the White House. I will not root for the country to go into a recession or some other tragedy to befall the country simply because it might benefit the opposition or cost Obama.

As is obvious from reading this blog for any length of time I have severe doubts about Obama's ability to govern, but I look forward to him proving me wrong.

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