Obama's Win - Seven Silver Linings
We've all had a couple of days now to reflect on the presidential election results, and the J-blogosphere abounds with post-mortems and analyses of the campaign, as well as dire predictions concerning the upcoming Obama administration. While I decidedly did not support an Obama victory, I also try to look for the positive side in unfortunate and painful events. I have found that this approach, if nothing else, can help one endure what would otherwise be truly unendurable.
So to borrow a phrase from the President-elect, here are a few of my audacious hopes for constructive outcomes of his victory:
1) The ascent of a Black American to the country's highest office breaks the ultimate "glass ceiling" which had been perceived as separating the races. Perhaps a true color-blindness, as envisioned by Dr. King so long ago, will finally take hold and wash away the last vestiges of reverse discrimination in program and attitude, which have only been racism perpetuated.
2) Similarly, Black youth now have a hugely visible role model, one who, whatever else one might feel about him, is neither a rapper nor an athlete, but by contrast is learned, cultured, and scholarly. This can only have a positive impact on a community that for too long has viewed intellect, education, and professional success as unachievable or even a negative.
3) Obama's very lack of experience and preparedness for the position he is taking on, may lead to a greater sense of caution and discretion, more willingness to accept council from those with varying viewpoints, and a gradual rather than reckless approach to his much-vaunted "change".
4) The positive reception from other world leaders that Obama is already receiving could reap economic benefits for the US. Those countries should be more likely to compromise on trade and related issues for an American leader whom they admire, and/or from whom they might expect greater reciprocity.
5) Obama is, by all accounts, a very canny, intelligent, and capable individual. Unless one accepts the highly implausible view that he is literally an agent for enemy interests, it can be hoped that as the cold realities of office take hold, he will slowly move at least some distance from naive idealism to a more pragmatic and skeptical approach to issues.
6) But even if President Obama retains the same far-left viewpoint of Senator Obama, there have been similar-minded Presidents before, and the country survived their administrations more or less intact. To give a concrete example, I truly don't think President Obama will be that much worse than President Carter, but we all somehow made it through the late seventies. And remember that Carter's failed presidency directly lead to the Reagan revolution. The pendulum of history always swings back.
And if none of these work for you, there's always:
7) If not for Haman, we wouldn't have Purim! Nuff said.
A happy, restful, and healing Shabbos to all!