I have a few thoughts now that the election is finished. I will put them out in a series of posts.
First, act nobly. I aspire to what Lincoln said in his second inaugural address: “With malice toward none; with charity for all….”
I’m grateful that the presidential election was decisive. I’d hate to relive the 2000 post-election month. I’d advise conservatives to put aside sour grapes and to be magnanimous in congratulating Obama supporters, even if some gloat in an unseemly manner. They have achieved a great victory. Few Democrats in modern times have won the presidency with more than 50% of the popular vote in their first term. Let Team Obama and its supporters have their due. There will be plenty of time for challenging methodologies and ideologies over the next four years.
Speaking of that, I’d also advise conservatives to avoid turning their stance into an anti-Obama personality cult. The angry Left’s unhinged detestation of G.W. Bush has ill served the country. Liberals likely would have picked up even more votes had this element not been present. Conservatives should learn from the days of Clinton loathing that anti-personality cults harm the country and the movement that spawns such antipathy. If such sentiments draw people to the movement, they are invariably the kind of people you don’t want in the movement.
Moreover, regardless of what anyone admits right now, personal attacks on Obama will invariably be cast as racial bigotry, even if they are not intended in that light. This next statement will come across as very politically incorrect, but it is a fact. Racial bigotry — or even the mere perception of such — by conservatives (especially white conservatives) has become one of the ultra-sins in modern America. Any conservative that goes there will be trashed and this will detract from the conservative message.
There is no denying the fact that most minorities have fled the Republican Party. The Left will not hesitate to use this fact to cast the GOP as the party of racial bigotry. Anything that could be construed to confirm this view will be boldly paraded before the eyes of the nation, while any bigotry on the part of people aligned with the Democrats will be ignored, obfuscated, and excused.
For these reasons, it’s best to stick to the actual issues and avoid personality-based criticisms. Even in the absence of a racially charged environment, this is good policy. In short, acting nobly is good policy.