Barack Hussein Obama has just made history. All the returned results now suggest that which we conservatives expected but were reluctant to accept, Barack Obama is the new President of the United States. First I want to pay tribute to Barack Obama on this momentus achievement. By becoming the first African American President he has realised the dream that so many valiant leaders like Martin Luther King have died for. They dreamed of the day when people would be judged on their own individual merit and not on the basis of the colour of their skin. Today is clearly that day. He and his campaign defied critics, including myself, who question whether America was ready to elect a black president. I was clearly wrong and I greatly under-estimated the power of Obama’s camapaign and more importntly the strength of American democracy to look beyond racial lines.
Barack Obama is a man of great personal merit. He is a kindly and committed family man, a man who has suffered the cruelest of blows with the death of his beloved Grandmother just a day before the election but refused to use it as a political tool. In the closing day of the campaign I was relieved to see no false tears, no theatrical displays of emotion, no gimmicks… this dignity in grief greatly impressed me. Ultimately, despite his personal strengths, a President Obama for the next years is not a prospect I relish. Now I have never doubted the strength of his conviction… I just find myself on the opposite end of the conviction spectrum.
It is no secret I was and will remain a vocal critic of Obama and I always hoped McCain would pull it out of the bag even when it seemed the writing was on the wall. But I want to make it categorically clear my issues with Barack Obama were always political and not personal. I could never bring myself to support a tax and spend, protectionist, liberal whether they were black, white, pink or purple! I also found it hard not to be bowled over by the sheer experience and record of bipartisanship that John McCain embodies which I still feel is crucial in the years ahead. Even now in defeat McCain has shown he is a man of extraordinarity humility, decency and dignity. That I feel would have made the better President.
But as much as a treasure conservatism, I value democracy more and democracy has delivered Obama to the White House. As such British conservatives must find a way to come to terms with this and hope that Obama will not lead the nation and the world, that has placed such trust in him, down the road to ruin. Congratulations Senator don’t let them down.
(Oh and in regards to live blogging, that proved more problematic than we anticipated given the fact my laptop decided to pack up!)