Election Reflections

This just in! Obama elected President!

For those of you who have been spending way too much time in lab, Barack Obama is the new President of the United States and the entire world beyond America’s borders has breathed a sigh of relief. Despite warnings that I would move to Switzerland if McCain won, I was honestly ready to accept either candidate as President tonight. They both understood that fundamental change was needed; however, I was never convinced that John McCain’s version of change would have had long-term positive consequences. He did prove to me that he wasn’t going to be just another GW Bush, but when a small-government Republican has become a “maverick,” that signals something wrong not just with Bush but with the party as a whole.

I, like many scientists, am economically conservative and believe that big government is bad. I wanted, badly, to believe that the classical Republican vision of small government was achievable even within my lifetime…unfortunately, that’s just plain not the case. McCain’s plan to cut taxes was ambitious to a fault and looked unachievable, particularly in the hands of a Democratic Congress. It would’ve been downright impossible, for example, to lower the corporate tax rate by 10% and expect a corporate business boom to compensate for it. A tax cut that ambitious in this economic environment would simply shut the government down outright and scare future entrepreneurs even more. That said, I liked John McCain’s tax plan a lot, particularly his credit for R&D investments and ban on Internet taxes. I hope he pushes the strong points of his tax plan through Congress as aggressively as possible.

Although I agreed with many of McCain’s economic ideas, you simply can’t put a price on the reputation points America earned tonight by electing Barack Obama. In the long run, Obama will be a better decision for American foreign policy, no matter his level of experience, because we can start to rebuild relationships with foreign countries (hopefully) from the ground up. Faith in the American spirit has been renewed, and achieving that was worth enduring a shitty economy, if you ask me.

Then again, I’m just a chemist…what do I know?

EDIT: Man, this whole post makes me sound like kind of an asshole. I’m really nice in person, promise. Here’s my election promise to you, dear readers: No more politics in 2008!

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3 Comments

  1. I don’t think you sound like an asshole at all.

    I voted for McCain, largely for all the reasons you cited in his economic package/tax plan. I also think that McCain was the best of the Republican bunch to be able to reach across the aisle and affect that change by working with Democrats in both houses of congress.

    I do feel that this is a wake-up call that the Republican party has needed for about 20 years (maybe longer?) and show that it can’t cling to the ideals of the past. I remember back in 2004 when the pundits were all saying that the Democratic Party needs to reinvent itself, reshape it’s image and move more toward a centrist stance, and I think that they did that very well with nominating and propping up Obama for the presidency. This is something that the Republicans need to do; unfortunately, when was the last time that the Republicans reached out to minority voters? 1864?

    The more I thought on this last night, the more at ease I was with everything. When Obama was elected in 2004, I remember pundits saying that there was a chance that, later in his career, he could actually switch parties. I realize there’s been a lot of trying to paint him as a far leftist liberal whacko over the past few months, but I honestly think that this is a good thing for the country, not so much for our image to the rest of the world, but for our image of ourselves (if that makes any sense). Before 2007, minority candidates were fringe candidates (including Ferraro in 1984) whom very few people took as serious contenders. Now, however, we’ve seen a greater influence in the overall political landscape by women and African-Americans, which, no matter what, has to be a good thing for the nation, no matter which side of the aisle the candidates come from.

    Wow, sorry, I just wrote an entire blog post in your comments, but then, I’ve not had much to say about the election overall, because, as I’ve learned in the past, Republicans are not very popular on the ebays. 🙂

    Reply

  2. “Despite warnings that I would move to Switzerland if McCain won, I was honestly ready to accept either candidate as President tonight.”

    Well sure, you say that now. 😛

    Reply

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