Christmas comes early for Obama supporters

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CST

Dear Voters,

Did you hear about the election? Obama won. If you voted for him: congratulations.

Tuesday was a lot like Christmas Eve. I waited to see what the rest of our country would bring me. Turned out to be the only present I asked for: a skinny half-black, half-white first-term senator with big ears and a goofy smile.

The big ears are only to hear us better. The color of Obama’s skin is only to show us that the United States just voted in a black president. A black president. A black president. 

I always wondered which long-disenfranchised citizen America would vote into the Oval Office first: a woman or a black man. I knew, definitely, for sure, not a black man. Not in a country where 40 years ago, Freedom Riders were pulled out of buses and beaten. Not in a country where the National Guard had to force school integration at gunpoint. Barack Hussein Obama. Has a nice ring, doesn’t it?

I guess I have George W. Bush to thank for delivering Christmas on a warm, early-November day. His junior-high politics pushed America up against the wall, two walls, real awkward like a school dance. On one side, the Americans: strong patriotic gut-checkers who believed in God and old-fashioned hard work. On the other side: elitist intellectuals who liked Old Europe more than our founding fathers and would rather read a book than shoot a duck.

Bush wasn’t evil; he was shallow and divisive. Great at politics, poor at policy and along the way he inadvertently blew up the status quo and the Republican party. His wedge politics created the space necessary for a previously unknown son of a Kenyan to be president. Thank you.

I have no idea what Obama will do with national policy or foreign affairs. He’s not going to push through a Dylan-Baez bill that creates universal spiritual harmony. He won’t make Vladimir Putin more compassionate or be able to document every illegal immigrant. Barack Obama is not the second coming of anyone: Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, King. He’s inexperienced, but he appears to be bipartisan, thoughtful and temperate. Obama will surround himself with experience (already has, in Biden), listen, and make gut decisions informed by his mind. I think he recognizes that ruling in the name of God or history is a bit above his pay grade.

Wall Street went up too, so that’s a good start.

Greg T. Spielberg is a graduate student at the Missouri School of Journalism and a former assistant city editor for the Columbia Missourian.

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Ayn Rand November 5, 2008 | 12:14 p.m.

I wonder how many editorials and blogs would mention race if Thomas Sowell or AlanKeyes had run and won.

(Report Comment)
Greg T. Spielberg November 5, 2008 | 1:37 p.m.

Are you thinking more or less?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 5, 2008 | 2:24 p.m.

Less. They would focus on his policies -- as they should -- instead of his race. People who still play the race card look ridiculous, only they don't realize it.

Barack has more in common with people -- black or white -- who can afford $1,200+ Hart Schaffner Marx suits than with a black teacher or black laborer.

(Report Comment)
Greg T. Spielberg November 5, 2008 | 3:11 p.m.

Obama's race is worth noting. America has a long history of institutional and then social & personal racism. Before going into politics, he was a teacher, and he gained more than 60 million votes — at least 90 percent coming from suitless workers.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand November 5, 2008 | 3:14 p.m.

How do you know that at least 90 percent of his votes came from blue collar workers? Source?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro November 5, 2008 | 3:24 p.m.

Oh My God. I didn't know he's black! Can I take my vote back now or do I have to give him the benefit of doubt. (If Biden's white, I'll let it slide.)
Thank goodness McCain didn't win. (Thanks, especially, to W's legacy.")
Can we give this "ethnic race thing" a rest and let these guys do their jobs.
(I got teary eyed watching Jesse Jackson crying in Grant Park and I'm tired of blowing my nose.)

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 5, 2008 | 3:53 p.m.

OMG ray shapiro and you are a white dude man OMG but I still love your style of posting and telling the story as it really is.

Don't ever change to suit others ideals and always tell it like it really is.

(Report Comment)

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