That comes as no surprise to those who remember my staunch anti-Bush attacks of the last five years -- five?! -- at this blog. But where I worked for Kerry's victory in 2004, all along much more of a vote against than a vote for, I could never quite bring myself to believe in Obama's brand of hope. Sure, I wanted to believe, but I never did. In fact, it was John McCain who held me back.
Not that I could vote for McCain, a near-criminal and at the very least a co-conspirator in the ineffective Congress of the last two decades, a man who's best qualification was failure. Being shot down is no resume line and McCain is no more (or less) deserving than, say, Admiral James Stockdale, another former Vietnam era POW but who was roundly seen as undeserving even as a Vice-President. On this fact, any of the nearly 600 Vietnam-held Prisoners* are as qualified. McCain, of course, ran on his record in the Senate (undistinguished compared to others) and his wife's money, which is what got him to the Senate in the first place.
(Off topic here, but did anyone notice Cindy McCain wearing a "Navy Wife" brooch during her appearance on Saturday Night Live? I doubt Carol McCain felt good about that.)
So if my vote is once again more a tick of "against" than "for," it leaves me at a political crossroads. While my hope is that Obama will become the President and leader everyone so fervently hopes he will be - and there's that word again - I have no real basis for that hope beyond promises. I am brought back to my Christian school education and reminded to build my home on rock, not sand. (Matthew 7:24-27.)
So what am I for? What is my political rock? If I am not for many of Obama's policies and goals, it leaves me with one choice and that is to articulate myself as the loyal opposition. America's style of republicanism (form, not party) doesn't allow for this, but it is something that has strengthened them. If you've never watched the Prime Minister's question time on C-SPAN, imagine any recent President standing to question, then ask why we don't have a similar function. Yes, the press might, but doesn't.
As we elect a President tomorrow, it's time for all of us to become strong soldiers for his cause or to be in the best sense of the words, the loyal opposition. Over the next few months, as Obama or McCain establishes his government, I'll be establishing the principles by which I will stand. I hope you'll join me in examining the important issues of the day, one by one.
* Yes, I acknowledge discrepancies with the numbers, but let's not get into that here.