First of all, I'm excited, damn excited. We have entered a new era, and I'm not quite sure what it means yet, but Obama promises change. Not just from Republican rule but from all of that, all the partisanship, the cultural war issues that have driven us a part, a change toward something new, something more relevant, something better. What exactly is that yet? I'm not sure Obama even knows right now. He'll figure it out as he goes along.
But know this. He's smart, he's thoughtful, he has vision, he has surrounded himself by smart people. He's going to work his hardest to get it right. And he'll enlist all of us to help him. We'd better help.
Know this. He'll propose stuff that's never been proposed before. All kinds of cool sounding stuff. Some of it will work, some of it won't. But along the way, he will inspire and energize. That much is clear.
But I am a little sad. I'm sad because of the beating the Republican party is getting. I wish they could have put up a better fight. Provide better alternatives. McCain's campaign makes me wish Romney or Huckabee would have won. Either one, I suspect would have had a more organized, thoughtful campaign with alternative ideas. They would have still lost, but it would have been a better race. The one tragedy with this campaign, is that Obama's ideas were never really contested. McCain had really nothing to contrast his with. Sad.
I'm also sad about how bad of a beating the evangelical/Christian right is getting right now. Many people blame them for the failings of the Republican party. They are right partially. The Christian right over-extended. They were too partisan. Never really willing to reach across the party line in a spirit of cooperation. But Bush's failures extend well beyond the Christian right.
Look, I am a member of the conservative Christian right demographic. Culturally, I identify them. I went on a mission to Alabama and I grew up with strong evangelical friends. There are so many thoughtful, sincere, good, moral, ethical people that are culturally conservative. I understand why they are so fervent in their emotional attachment to cultural war issues. I hope they don't get dismissed, it would be a huge mistake for the Democratic party to try to ramrod cultural issues over them. I don't think Obama will.
In fact, one of the successes of the Obama campaign is that he made it possible for people like me to believe in him, to hang up a yard side, to put a bumper sticker in my car, without compromise. I could be pro-life and pro-Obama. I could vote yes for proposition 102 and vote for Obama. I have great faith that Obama will not let me down. That he will listen to the many voices who are concerned with failing families, our over-sexualized society, children born into broken families, reared by those who did not bring them into this world. It's a tragedy really, and it needs to be addressed.
True conservatism, at its heart, is the belief in self responsibility. That a society with strong families will produce strong economies. Children raised in caring, loving homes will grow up to be educated, strong, and valuable producers in society.
Government can never replace that. Government should never replace that. Government should provide an environment where families can succeed, and to do what it can to help more families succeed.
I believe Obama is with me on this. My heart is full, I am excited. I hope and pray the Republican party can bounce back and be active players to work with Obama to generate a diversity of idea that will allow our country achieve and to grow.
That is my hope. Tonight, I believe in hope. Tonight, I know hope.