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.
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.
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.