I know I said I was done, but there’s something that’s been bothering me. And that is all the triumphalist rhetoric issuing from every corner of our society over the fact that “we” have elected the first African-American president in our history. I agree, that’s history-making. And I can imagine how that might feel to African-Americans who have felt some sense of injustice in this country, especially if their (great-great-)grandparents were slaves. I can imagine how it might feel if all the presidents up to this year were black, and we finally elected a white president. But that makes me feel sort of slimy. I mean, is that it? Is that the final barrier to true equality? Is that the marker of the fact that our country is now finally done with bigotry and intolerance? That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
And I keep hearing people say that the best thing about Pres. Obama is that he’s a uniter and a healer, that he’s going to bring this country together. Besides the fact that it’s the same Lefty therapeutic blather we’ve heard for the last forty or fifty years (or longer), what evidence do we have of this supposed coming unity? All we have is the fact that a majority of both black and white people elected him president. Which is all sort of curious, because it’s so circular. See, a majority of black and white people elected him because he promised to bring unity and change; he’s brought unity and change because a majority of black and white people elected him. There is no substance there whatsoever. His vague platitudes and smooth talk convinced a majority of people to vote him into the highest office in the country. For what? We shall see. But since Barack Obama has voted nearly always with the Democrats (more times, let’s remember, than John McCain voted wtih Pres. Bush), and since he wants all the same things Democrats want–no restrictions on abortion, more and bigger government running more and bigger programs, higher taxes on those who actually create jobs, etc.–where is this unity and change going to come from? So far, it’s come from the fact that his presidency would make history (read: the color of his skin). If that’s not about the farthest thing from a good reason to elect a person to the presidency, I don’t know what is.
You know what would prove that Pres. Obama is a uniter and not a divider? Appoint Sarah Palin to a cabinet position that has some actual authority, say, something having to do with energy policy. Then I might be able to finally believe the hype.
UPDATE: I also wonder what the pundits would be saying if someone like Alan Keyes were elected. And: what will the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do now?
And: here’s Touchstone‘s Mere Comments (you should all read James Kushiner’s editorial in the most recent Touchstone) on the same topic.