I didn't vote for Barack Obama.
I oppose the change he advocated in his campaign, but he is my President.
[Originally published at Examiner.com which version contains all links to supportive and referential material.]
But I have great hope that America will thrive under his leadership and will pray for him and my country daily, as I did for President George W. Bush and all that preceded him.
My hopes have risen in many ways during the transition, especially with respect to national security and defense issues. The President-Elect retained the Defense Secretary that helped President Bush continue on the path to victory in Iran and retain the perfect protection of the homeland since 911. Obama has also recently scoffed at the suggestion of looking backwards at prosecutions of government agents that obtained life-saving intel from three prominent al Qaida detainees via so-called waterboarding torture. And, our next President has backed off his reckless campaign pledge to "immediately" close the POW camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, now publicly acknowledging that dangerous terrorists are housed there.
We pray that President Obama will honor his more recent pledges and not what he now refers to, post-intelligence briefings from President Bush, as "campaign rhetoric."
In the area of economic policy, I can't say that my hopes have risen as much, given the pork and government jobs bill being passed off as an emergency stimulus bill to combat the current economic crisis and create jobs. We hold out some hope given his choice of former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as chief economic advisor and some other appointees; his reluctance to seek campaign promised tax hikes for at least two years; and that his proposed stimulus bill had more tax cuts than the bill passed out of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House of Representatives.
But, we expect to oppose Obama and the liberal Democrats on economic and social policy. After all, I am a conservative and, in fact, a convert to same after 18 years a Democrat activist and official until 2000, precisely because we came to see their policies as proven failures. We have no doubt that we need a stimulus. We need a supply side stimulus policy that has proven to be a success on many occasions via individual and corporate tax rate cuts, capital gains tax cuts and reductions in regulations that would turn the American people loose to bail themselves out through expanded oil exploration and the building of oil refineries, nuclear power plants and the creation of small businesses.
We would love for the new President's Inaugural Address to contain some reference to these types of measures, but we aren't holding our breathe.
But we do have hope that the address can be a net positive for the nation. Inaugural addresses are more important than most speeches because they are read by school children and are used to define the nation's ideals. We here that Obama will speak of responsibility as a theme, and we think that is appropriate and good. We just pray that it is not used as a ruse for class warfare and does not exclude from responsibility, those elected government officials that helped bring about the current economic crisis.
For President Barack Hussein Obama's Inaugural Address to be a success in my eyes, he will have to say three things that relate directly to the ideal of "responsibility":
1 - Publicly and unequivocally thank his predecessor for keeping us safe since the attacks of September 11, 2009;
2 - Publicly and unequivocally thank the former Commander-in-Chief and the armed forces of the United States for the victory in Iraq. Show the men and women in uniform the respect they deserve for succeeding in their mission. Don't treat them like victims that need to be rescued from their mission by you.
3 - Pays homage to the wisdom and greatness of the Founders as he has been doing of late in speeches leading up to Inauguration Day. This can go a long way to correcting the politically correct trashing of this nation's glorious history by so many in academia.
If a President won't defend us, we won't be defended. Congress can't force a Commander-in-Chief to fire one bullet, drop one bomb, or round up visa overstays from Muslim countries after a terrorist attack.
I will never forget when former Attorney General John Ashcroft related President Bush's first words to him after the 911 attacks:
"John, don't ever let this happen again."
John didn't and neither did the President. And we all know that a President Gore would have never crossed the political correctness police and picked up all those visa overstays that we now know prevent follow up attacks.
Has the President-Elect related the equivalent to his national security team? Will he have the courage to do whatever it takes to protect us?
Let us pray that he will.
Today is a great day for America and a great example for the world. It is now self evident, what I have known for over two decades: America is not only not a racist country, it is the most non-racist nation in history.
Once again, we show the world how to peacefully transfer power.
We just hope and pray that our new leader is as committed to keeping the peace on U.S. soil as President Bush has been.
Farewell and Godspeed to the man that kept us safe and Congratulations and best wishes to our 44th President of the United States.
God Bless America!
Mike DeVine's Charlotte Observer and Minority Report columns
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson