Congratulations, Mr. President

In your acceptance speech last night, Mr. Obama, you said, addressing those of us who did not vote for you, “I will be your president, too.” I was glad to hear you say it, as I had just been thinking to myself, I did not vote for you, but I congratulate you, wish you well, and will respect the office you hold.

Unlike so many disgruntled Gore and Kerry voters in 2000 and 2004, I will not say, “He isn’t my president.” Unlike the furious Democrats who raged that they wanted to move to France or Canada or anyplace but Bushworld, I will never say that an America under an Obama Administration is still not the greatest country in the world. Unlike the leftists who savagely mocked John McCain and especially Sarah Palin in this campaign, and who have belittled and insulted President Bush for the past eight years, I will never stoop to that level in speaking of you, President-elect Obama. I will criticize many of your policies, I have no doubt, but I will never question your intelligence, your faith, or your patriotism.

Those on the left like to paint conservatives as bigots. Have some of my fellow conservatives engaged in racism and religious bigotry during this campaign? Undoubtedly some of them have. But it is equally true that the majority of us have not. Did some people vote against you simply because you were black? Undoubtedly some did. But it is equally true that there were others who voted for you because of your race, and that there were many more people like me, who voted for your opponent because we agree with his policy positions rather than yours, for whom values matter and race does not.

I was encouraged to read similar sentiments on a number of other conservative blogs this morning. Hugh Hewitt wrote:

It is an extraordinary thing, an achievement that will be recognized a hundred years hence, that Barack Obama has won the White House. Even those of us who opposed him, and who will no doubt be opposed to many of his policy objectives over the next four years, must pause and say congratulations on an improbable, amazing rise.

Every American ought to pray for wisdom and judgment for President-elect Obama, for his safety and the safety of his country, and for the continued prosperity and greatness of America.

AllahPundit observed

I’ll never be a fan, but I swear I’ll never take a nutroots posture either in relishing his failures because it helps my party. Like it or not, he’s my president. As a great man once said, country first.

Slublog chimed in:

After a brief bout with Obama Derangement Syndrome as the results came in, I decided I couldn’t do it. Sure, I’ll photoshop stupid pictures, criticize our new president with vigor and joy, and work to ensure that conservatives are a thorn in his side, but like I said last night, I won’t hate him for a simple reason.

I love this country too much to do to President-Elect Obama what the left did to President Bush, John McCain and Sarah Palin. I hope my fellow conservatives will do the same – demonization is not essential to opposition. I plan to spend the next four years like I spent the last four – being a husband, dad and reluctant taxpayer. I’m going to disagree with the president a lot, but I don’t see that as a license to hate. I’ve spent far too much time criticizing the left to become like them.

Over the next four years, I am sure other conservatives will say and write things about you that will embarrass me. I will doubtless see t-shirts and bumper stickers that belittle you but in reality only make my side look bad. Still, something tells me I will not see quite as many of them as I have seen the past eight years ridiculing President Bush with profanity and vicious ad hominem attacks. On this blog, I will continue to write satire, as I have in the past, but it will not cross the line of decency. There will be ugliness, Mr. President, but know this: most of us who disagree with you and did not vote for you do not condone it. Most of us agree with you on one thing:

You will be our president, too.

Comments 9

  1. Lauren wrote:

    I had this discussion with a 7 year old McCain supporter on the way to school this morning.

    Posted 05 Nov 2008 at 8:09 pm
  2. Brigette Russell wrote:

    I had it with 7-year-old and 5-year-old McCain supporters as well.

    Posted 05 Nov 2008 at 8:34 pm
  3. dianna wrote:

    As always, you have such grace!

    Posted 05 Nov 2008 at 10:58 pm
  4. Victor Jimenez wrote:

    Well said Mrs. Russell!

    Posted 06 Nov 2008 at 2:17 am
  5. Art wrote:

    Perfect. We need to be the most graceful loyal opposition this country has ever seen.

    Posted 07 Nov 2008 at 4:04 pm
  6. Bowden Russell wrote:

    No, we don’t need to be the “most graceful.”

    Grace has it’s place, but more often than not Republicans fail to call a duck a duck.

    They lack the “fire in the belly” that the Demoncats had this last election and propelled them to victory.

    Let’s not be nice to the Dems, but we don’t have to go overboard like they did with Bush derangement syndrome.

    Posted 11 Nov 2008 at 6:17 am
  7. Dan wrote:


    Posted 11 Nov 2008 at 6:20 pm
  8. Markus wrote:

    …really, demoncrats?

    That’s patriotism for you, huh?

    A large portion of our country’s electoral system is based on the two-party system.
    All the hate in the world won’t make Democrats go away.
    Why bother with the excessive, petty anger/rudeness?
    It’s not flattering at all, and yes-
    it makes your entire party look bad.

    If Obama is shot, America can be sure the assasin is an overzealous conservative.
    I hear statements to the effect of “hanging Obama from a tree with the rest of the n—–, killing his black a–, etc.” …from ardent McCain supporters.
    Not saying all Republicans are this way, but either way- there’s a difference between ridiculous levels of hate and “calling a duck a duck.”

    Why not “be nice to the Dems?”
    …I mean, really..come on.
    Get over it. He won.
    He ran a great campaign, and that can’t be blamed on circumstance.

    Posted 26 Nov 2008 at 7:12 am
  9. Brigette Russell wrote:

    I don’t know where you live, Markus, but in my circles, I have yet ever to hear any conservative express a desire to see the president-elect come to harm. I’m sure there are people who do, but I don’t know any.

    I note, btw, that you chose to ignore the gracious sentiments I expressed in my original post, and to focus instead on a word used by someone who commented on the post. If you surf enough conservative blogs, you’ll find far more posts like mine about Obama’s election than you will insults or threats. Nevertheless, people on the left choose to ignore what thoughtful conservatives say and highlight only those remarks which make our side look bad. See, for example:

    Posted 26 Nov 2008 at 4:13 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 2

  1. From Sarah Palin On Best Political Blogs » Blog Archive » Congratulations, Mr. President on 05 Nov 2008 at 3:24 pm

    […] Congratulations, Mr. President Unlike the leftists who savagely mocked John McCain and especially Sarah Palin in this campaign, and who have belittled and insulted President… […]

  2. From Random Friday Links & Perspectives « New Wineskins on 07 Nov 2008 at 4:35 pm

    […] Congratulations Mr. President [-elect] (a showcase of abundant grace) […]

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