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Congratulations To Barack Obama

This is an historic moment for our nation. We have elected an American of African descent president of the nation.

More thoughts in the morning.


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Larry Gunston wrote:

How could this happen? How?! You told us it would not happen! I'm crushed!

Rand Simberg wrote:

This is your second comment saying the same thing, just on a different post. And this time it's on one that I thought was magnanimous.

Do you enjoy being an asshole, or is it that you just can't help it?

Serious question.

Larry Gunston wrote:

You've disappointed me. I believed in you. How could you be so wrong?

Dave G wrote:

Congratulations my ass. This country is screwed. We'll be lucky to survive.

No one in the military is going to put his life on the line for this lying sonofabitch.

I'm done working hard. Obama can pay my gas and mortgage, too. Too bad there won't be anything left.

ken anthony wrote:

McCain made a good concession speech.

I expect Obama to keep his promise to change America.

I don't see any brakes on this train.

The silver lining is there aren't many Republicans left to blame for anything.

Paul Huston wrote:

Your magnanimous congratulations is quite impressive. McCain's speech was one of dignity and love of country - alas Senator McCain forgot that in a war your enemy doesn't give a damn about the losers speech.

McCain's failure to fight, hard, viciously without quarter, with any tool available, when it counted, in a real war, as our freedom slipped away, has now resulted in a disaster of yet unimagined proportion to the very country that the Senator clearly loves. How sad. Now I hear the Messiah telling his believers that "Change has come". I believe him - he will bring change, mostly our change.....

Thanks for McCain Feingold John...better luck next time...oops there won't be a next time.

God help us and God help our dear country

Brock wrote:

Ken, there's another silver lining. It looks like Bob Barr cost McCain Indiana and (possibly) North Carolina. Wins there wouldn't flip the result, but you can bet the Republicans will notice that during the post mortem.

We're looking at 360+ electoral votes here though. Crazy. That's solid Bill Clinton territory, and much better than Bush ever did.

Brock wrote:


Melodramatic, much? Recall that we've had Presidents like FDR, Carter and Woodrow Wilson. We've had Dem majorities in Congress before too.

Is this bad? From my point of view, yes. But there certainly will be a "next time."

Mike Gerson wrote:

Rand, it was magnanimous.

Thanks for saying it.

We are all in this together. I hope Obama finds the center.

Anonymous wrote:

The best part of President-Elect Obama's victory speech:

"And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you."

We will defeat you. Clear and simple.

Dinsdale wrote:

McCain's speech was classy. I didn't agree with the way he ran his campaign, but he earned my respect in the end.

And to your point, Rand, it is an historic moment I didn't expect to see in my lifetime. There's value in that, regardless of whether you agree with Obama's policies.

Jim Hussein Harris wrote:

Yeah, I agree, this post from Rand is magnanimous. So was McCain's concession speech. Way to go.

And as Carl and Mike agreed in the other post, America is a great country. That can be overstated; it's a big mistake to think that America is the best ever or naturally superior to other countries or anything like that. But I have always thought that America is a great country; otherwise I wouldn't live here. So have some faith in it, even if you were outvoted today.

I had had that point in mind for some time, but tonight it's already been said.

Daveon wrote:

Rand: While we don't see eye to eye on much, this was a perfect post.

Thank you.

MG wrote:

One minor (?) nit....

President-elect Obama is ALSO an American of English descent. In fact, he is more Anglo than I... a mere half-Acadian, half-Celt.

Just sayin'

Also, classy post, Rand, and I share some of the fears expressed above. I gotta hang onto my wallet and my Bill of Rights....

Fletcher Christian wrote:

"Paul Huston wrote: God help us and God help our dear country".

Not just yours, Paul. Barack HUSSEIN Obama will do absolutely nothing to stem the twin threats now evident against the free West; resurgent Russian totalarianism and the forces of Mordor, aka Boskone, aka Islam.

Maybe, just before the end, the logic of Wretchard's Three Conjectures will come into play and the world will see an end to the 1300-year war, with a cost of "merely" a billion deaths instead of all of us. But with the empty suit in charge, I wouldn't count on it.

Thankfully, I won't have any children; so my grandkids won't be slaves.

Carl Pham wrote:

You know, honestly folks, if you study American history in some detail -- I mean, well past the gauzy PC bullshit you were fed in school -- it becomes very clear the the American people have elected fools and blowhards as President more often than not.

That's just the way it goes. And is it really a surprise? You're going to ask 120 million average folks to spend an average of five minutes thinking about it -- and in some weird magical burst of profound insight pick a truly able man for a very complex job? That kind of defies common sense. 120 million half-assed decisions are so very unlikely to add up to wisdom that, if they do, it's almost certainly complete chance.

But so what? Madison's marvelous machine, showing cracks now I admit, is designed so that you can elect a fool, and the machine still works. (May not get as good mileage, of course.) The Republic survived Carter and Johnson, FDR and Wilson, Pierce and Buchanan, Jackson and even Madison himself -- who, while a brilliant theoretician, was a complete doofus as a leader of men and almost got the country dismembered in 1812.

Really, to best preserve our liberties, we should get out of the habit of feeling like we should recruit a cunning and seemingly altruistic Caesar to come in and "clean up" the corruption and abuse of power in the Republic. I can't think of tyrant that didn't come to power on the noble selfless promise to Fix Things Once And For All.

So do not turn your thoughts to how to raise up a bigger new Obama to crush the old Obama. Work on figuring out how, in a million grassroots ways, as unextinguishable as a wildfire in dry grass, you can make Obama -- really, the entire apparatus of government -- just a little bit less relevant every day. That way lies freedom.

I'm kinda scared right now. I work for a bank, in the ATM network division. I'm just a lowly computer operator - not a programmer or manager or anything like that. My employer is quite healthy; it is not suffering the problems of Fannie, Freddie, and Bear Sterns. (I always wondered why a financial giant would have "bear" in its name...)

I know that the Dems created the subprime mess, evidently with help from Robert Rubin, and that the mark-to-market accounting rule is exacerbating the problem. I also know that calls to end MTM are coming from people like Newt Gingrich, and not from people like Chris "I'm Bad, I'm Countrywide" Dodd.

If the Dems so effectively screwed up one huge segment of the finance industry, can the rest of it ever be safe from them?

ken anthony wrote:

120 million half-assed decisions are so very unlikely to add up to wisdom that, if they do, it's almost certainly complete chance.

I must respectfully disagree Carl. This is why the media is considered a part of government and is the principle the founders rely upon to keep us free.

It is only collectively that we can guarantee wisdom, because alone we are all dolts in some respects.

Otherwise, I think you make excellent points which I've noted in a blog post today.

Carl Pham wrote:

ken, let us distinguish between wisdom and the lack of folly. I quite agree that collective decisions are some insurance against the folly of delusional thinking. It's easy for one intellectual to convince himself of something utterly insane by virtue of some personally convincing chain of logic. This is why reading philosophy is such a hoot. Some very bright people, using impeccable chains of logic, starting from innocent premises, argue themselves into complete madness.

It is, by contrast, very much harder to convince 120 million plain folks to go along. At least somebody's likely to see that the Emperor has no clothes.

And, yes, I fully agree that the ideal purpose of a communications media is to spread those rebel ideas far and wide, to maximize the dispersal of facts, so that the chances of some young lad noticing the Emperor's bare ass and everyone else hearing him point and laugh, is that much better.

And it is also true that our professional media have done nothing of the sort. They are merely an organized propaganda arm for a delusional, academic, social parasite worldview.

But...would you really expect anything different from a professional media? The very term is abhorrent to the ideals of the Founders, smacking as it does of some kind of aristocracy that controls and mediates for the people. An aristocracy always starts and ends with protecting its privileges, allying as necessary to other powers. That's exactly what our aristocratic professional media have been, and it's no surprise at all.

But take heart! The rise of amateur media -- of a media of, by and for the people (to borrow A. Lincoln's immortal phraseology) -- has been phenomenal. It's letting us share views right now, and realize that the view presented today in the professional media (that everyone everywhere is jubilant over Mr. Obama's election, that he represents some massive mandate for huge change) is most evidently false.

This may yet save us. We are now talking as one citizen to another, struggling with our ideas almost as if in one giant town hall meeting. The days in which the professional media aristocracy can impose their views are fleeing as their bottom line financial numbers completely tank. They are doomed. Glenn Reynolds observed that this may have been why they flung caution to the winds this year. They know they won't be around in 8 or 12 years to suffer payback -- so why not go out with a bang?

They have. Well, they should carefully preserve the sweet taste of this victory, since it will be the last they ever enjoy.

ken anthony wrote:

Re: Taking heart because of the rise of the amateur media...

I do, but don't think it's enough. Readers are in the minority, we need tv news to have their feet kept in the fire. Ace talks about vetting the media (sorry no link) and I think that's something that MUST happen if we hope to remain a nation.

Otherwise, we get echo chambers of isolated groups that don't get public attention in most cases. Rathergate and such being more an exception than a rule.

I don't think we can assume that just because we've had a good 200+ year run that it will last forever. Those citizens that hate America may eventually get their wish.

Prophecy suggests that people wanting liberty will be delivered to the local court by their own relatives as new laws are created to protect the government. Hard to imagine, but only in a few cases will the amateur media be able to do anything about it.

It is all so bizarre. It's so hard to see history when you are a part of it. Your optimism does help, but I am profoundly worried about our near future (the next half dozen years.)

Carl Pham wrote:

Yes, amateur media will not be able to dominate like the professional media. They'll always be upstarts, Davids, blunting rather than entirely preventing corruption, both intellectual and electoral. If nothing else, they don't have the single-minded dedication and ruthlessness of the professional propaganda ministry serving a political master (or master class). Amateurs have day jobs, families, real lives that take up their time and energy -- and keep them honest.

Would you have it any other way? Power corrupts, my friend. If the amateur media became powerful enough to dominate or replace traditional media, they'd turn professional in turn, and it would be hello to the new boss, same as the old boss.

So take heart in the chaos, in the very fact that you don't know what will happen. That means opportunity is there and wide open, for good as well as evil, and the unsettled back-and-forth guarantees that the triumph of smoothy bullshitters is temporary.

It's so hard to see history when you are a part of it

That's a key point, and one of the reasons I'm an avid amateur historian. It's a useful anodyne to learn American history in detail, and realize how often it's seemed we've been about to careen over the brink -- but haven't. You learn to think that maybe there are structural reasons for both the cyclical madness and the fact that in the end we always return to sanity. If I had to guess, I'd say that Madison is right, and a huge sprawling republic that is mostly (even now) composed largely of fairly recent immigrants, who came here looking for opportunity and personal liberty, and who have profoundly different and conflicting vision of the utopia they'd like to impose on all the rest of us, is the best long-term defender of individual liberty. All the mad squabbling you see is good, because it prevents any group of masters to assert long term control. Really, you wouldn't want to be governed by Republicans for 25 years in a row. By the end, they really would be the fascists the Angry Left pretends they are now.

You're right, nothing is guaranteed, and America could go the way of Rome and strangle on its own success, leaving the world 500 years of darkness. Probably it will, sooner or later. But...probably not in my lifetime, or yours. Nothing is guaranteed, that's just life. Gird your loins, stand up and fight back, coolly and confidently but tenaciously. As Jefferson said, the roots of the tree of liberty need to be refreshed, from time to time, with the blood of tyrants and patriots.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on November 4, 2008 8:22 PM.

Why Should They Have The Power? was the previous entry in this blog.

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