I was listening to Glen Beck on the radio this morning, and I really appreciated what he had to say about how those who feared an Obama win on Tuesday should react to his victory. Listening to him I thought of the hatred, ugliness and the acid-in-your-face rhetoric that followed Bush's 2000 win and which dogged him throughout his presidency. I thought how contemptible it was, and I hoped that those who oppose Obama would act with a lot more class and civility toward him and his supporters than many of those who opposed Bush treated him and his supporters.
As Beck said, we have to behave like we're all Americans. We can't afford divisiveness just for the sake of hurting an Obama presidency. If we love our country we have to hope and pray that he does well, that he solves our problems, and that he turns out to be a good leader. It would be crazy, literally, to hope that he fails and to hope that the challenges he faces prove beyond his abilities to meet.
This does not mean that we should docilely accept whatever medicine he prescribes for our ills, especially the more radical stuff, but it does mean that we pray for his success, we support him issue by issue as long as we think he's on the right track, we give him credit for doing the right thing, and we let him know of our displeasure when he's doing the wrong thing in civil and respectful fashion.
This means we avoid name-calling and vituperation. It means we give him the benefit of the doubt whenever that's possible and plausible. It means that, as hard as it may be, we regard him as our president, deserving our loyalty and respect insofar as we can give it without compromising our principles.
We may not have much influence with Obama and Congress even if we do conduct ourselves with Christ-like maturity, but it's for sure we won't have any influence if we don't, nor should we. At some point someone has to break the pattern of the out-party acting as though the president were the incarnation of Lucifer. Let that someone be us. God keep us from being anything remotely like the Bush haters of the last eight years.RLC