An extremely liberal co-worker of mine -- he's in the past said that the "rich" should be killed, for instance -- asked me a serious question by which he felt he could gauge whether or not I was a "real" American in his eyes during the rise of the age of Obama. He wondered whether I wish success for Barack Obama as our president. After a few seconds of reflection I had to honestly give a qualified "no" in answer to his query. Naturally this fellow went off about how it was unAmerican to wish the president to fail and how it would damage the country. But, after he briefly calmed down, and brief calm is usually all we can expect from him, I gave him a fuller explanation.
I reminded him that it was a qualified no I gave him. Of course every American wants his president to be successful on every count that will benefit the country. No true American wants to see a monumental, destructive, Carteresque failure in the White House. My liberal co-worker is correct on that count. No one wants the next Buchanan, who, Nero-like, fiddled while Washington D.C. and the country burned. We want them all to be Reagans, Washingtons and Lincolns.
But, that is just it, isn't it? We want them to do what is best for the country. That is what we mean by "success." And, when you get right down to it, opinions vary of what "best" means. I do want Obama to be successful on what would be best for this country, absolutely. Unfortunately, there is little that he campaigned on that would be good for this country.
Now, let's look at the very phrase this is all predicated upon. "I want Barack Obama to succeed." Or, similarly, "I don't want Obama to fail." Both being the same premise. But, let's face it, the devil is always in the details, isn't it? What does "fail" or "succeed" even mean? Do I want Barack Obama to succeed in turning this country into a weaker, more communist copy of France? Hardly. But if he did succeed at that, it would be a success of a sort -- especially should that have been his goal.
But I don't want that sort of success.
Conversely, when I asked my liberal friend if he wanted Obama to "succeed" in a way that made him an even more conservative copy of Ronald Reagan, he nearly chocked to death trying to get a decided and vociferous "no" out of his own mouth.
He wouldn't want that sort of success.
So, the game-saying of wanting Obama to "succeed" is a meaningless exercise. On one hand every American wants the new president to succeed. But at what? That is the key question. We, each of us, want Obama to succeed at what we think is good for the country. So, right off the top the question itself is trope or even tripe.
Now we arrive at where I stand on Obama's relative "success." I did not vote for the man. I do not support his socialist ideas. I stand four-square against his votes for infanticide, his votes to gut the Constitutional right to self-protection, his vague ideas of nationalizing various industries, his intention to enlarge government to unheard of proportions and his softening on terror producing countries. And since these are the things his entire life's career point to as probable goals to "succeed" upon during his presidency... well, I want him to fail. And I want him to do so spectacularly. If Barack Obama is but a Trojan Horse for communism to push its nose under and into the tent, I want him to fail in the attempt.
Simply put I want these ideas to fail miserably because success for them would mean the destruction of this country. So, wishing Obama to succeed would be hoping for the destruction of my country if success means the accomplishments of goals like I mention above.
Needless to say, if he should accomplish the opposite of my laundry list of evils above, well, that sort of success I would heartily welcome.
The upshot is, we as conservatives and Republicans should want Barack Obama to fail if he is to strive for the wrong things. It's not unAmerican, or even relatively impolite to say so, either.
This is all not to say that Republicans and conservatives should treat Barack Obama in like manner as the ignorati of the lunatic left have treated George W. Bush. We should give Obama a fair hearing, agree when it's appropriate, disagree when it isn't and fight tooth and nail when we know we are right. We should eschew the sort of DailyKos, Huffington Post or DemocraticUnderground style of hate so prevalent with the left. But we should not go wobbly. Principled and firm opposition is called for, as always, cooler heads should prevail.
But, we should not wish Obama "success" just for the sake of success. Nor should we let our guard down in some foolish bid to force the left to appreciate us for our civility. Civility is a reward in and of itself. It isn't a gift to the enemy.
So, here's hoping great failure for Obama on all the things he should fail on and success with those things that are right and good for the United States of America.
I see that Leon H. Wolf addressed this idea, as well. I had missed his post earlier.