November 4, 2008
If Obama Wins ... or if McCain WinsBy Larrey Anderson
"Gird up your loins, son." That's what my dad used to tell me when I was facing a tough test as a kid. Well, "gird up your loins" conservatives. No matter what happens in today's election America is gonna need us.
One of two things is going to happen today. Either John McCain or Barack Obama will be elected president. Neither result looks promising for our future. Here is why.
If Obama Wins
There are three distinct possibilities of what might happen to America under an Obama administration. Believe it or not, one of them is not all that bad.
(1) Obama rules as the divisive, race baiting, wealth redistributionist that he is. This is the worst of all possible worlds. Obama will have more than willing accomplices in Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
If the Democrats move full steam ahead (what is going to stop them?) with their proposals on health care, banking, education, regulation, immigration, cap and trade, energy, and more, America will be on its way to becoming a third world country faster than you can say "sharing the wealth." This is a terrifying possibility. America is inches away from it becoming a four-year reality.
But I am less worried about the economic devastation that will result from this scenario than I am about the cultural and moral havoc that will take place in our country. We can recover from an economic crisis. We have done it before. But the retooling of our judiciary (it will be swift and it will be total) into an offshoot of the ACLU will take us decades to repair.
(2) Obama plays the moderate and he reaches across the aisle. Obama may make some gesture at reconciliation. (He has no track record for doing this -- but who knows?) He may wish to look "presidential" and throw a few crumbs to the Republicans.
This might slacken the pace of the socialization of America (and it would be a good strategy for Obama to pursue to grab that second term.) In the long run, this scenario could have even more tragic consequences for America than the "get it while the getting's good" approach that I outlined in (1).
Republicans in Congress have shown little spine. (In 1994, after the Republicans took control of Congress with the "Contract for America," for two years, and only two years, the Republicans actually governed like ... Republicans.)
There is a chance that Obama will negotiate, with the southern Democrats and the Republicans in Congress, creeping (as opposed to rampant) socialism. In short, Republicans may facilitate the downfall of America. I can already hear Republican Minority Leader John Boehner's excuse, "It's a crap sandwich, but we have agreed to nationalize the banking system at 5% a year ... instead of 10%."
(3) Here is the only glimmer of hope. Obama, like Bill Clinton, might simply decide that he enjoys being president -- and that he must do everything he can (like taking public opinion polls) to be reelected.
There is very little evidence to suggest that Obama is in this race more for his ego than for his ideology. But America's best chance for surviving an Obama administration is for Obama to fall in love with the job.
Don't get me wrong. Almost all politicians are ego driven borderline narcissists. Obama is far more full of himself than he is full of "hope and change." America's real hope for change is in the prospect that Obama will discover that he likes flying around in Air Force One more than he likes hanging with Bill Ayers.
This is, of course, a remote possibility. Obama could ride in Air Force One with Bill Ayers if he chooses.
If McCain Wins
Things look dismal for America if McCain wins too. Not as dismal. Not nearly. But bad, nevertheless.
If McCain wins in a squeaker (and winning in a squeaker appears to be the only way that McCain will win)[i] two things are all but certain: (1) The Democrats will control both Houses of Congress. (2) The left in this country will be seething.
If this is the outcome of today's election, from a conservative standpoint, John McCain will have been the worst possible Republican nominee (of all of the top tier primary contenders) that the Party could have chosen.
President Bush bragged about his ability to compromise with the Democrats when he was Governor of Texas. McCain is obsessed with compromise -- far more than Bush. Should McCain win in a close election he will not only be inclined to "reach across the aisle" -- he will feel duty bound.
He will also be pressured. The mainstream media, and a host of this country's intellectuals (including many conservative elites), will hound McCain with the notion that it was his status as a "maverick" that won him the race.
They will insist that "middle of the road" voters put him into office because of his stands on MMGW, immigration, and his "courageous" efforts to help pass the trillion dollar bailout bill. And McCain will want to believe them. He is, after all, human like the rest of us. In his mind his "maverick" (left leaning) idiosyncratic Republicanism will be fully vindicated.
America will need two things after this election. First, America as a culture will need healing. Barack Obama has divided this country along racial and economic lines. It will be John McCain's duty as president to fix Barack Obama's mess.
Second, just as important, America's economic and governmental institutions will need tough love. America has put off meeting our energy needs, fixing our broken retirement system and our semi-nationalized and bankrupt medical system for far too long. It would be all but impossible for the greatest of statesmen to both heal the culture and also enforce long ignored fiscal discipline on the federal government. John McCain will start with the healing first. He will have no other choice. I fear that the tough love McCain has promised to finally bring to the White House will be lost in this healing process and in the “necessary” political compromises that the left will demand of McCain as part of the payment for that healing.
Once again, the thing that worries me the most is not the economic crisis that we are facing (under either McCain or Obama), it is the moral one. McCain is a decent man. He has promised to appoint decent judges. But the Democrats will see to it that this does not happen.
McCain said, as a senator, that he had "serious reservations" about voting for a strict constructionist like Justice Alito. He will not fight to appoint another Supreme Court justice in that mold. Under a President McCain our federal judiciary is likely to slide (however slowly) to the left.
I am known as the skeptic (I am called "the cynic" -- sometimes worse) here at American Thinker. I have never thought (or written) that John McCain was a good choice for conservatives.
But I am voting for him. So should you. Obama cannot be given control of this government. We will regret it. Our children will pay for it.
In fact, we must vote for John McCain even if he loses. Even if we know he has already lost as we (on the West coast) step into the ballot booth.
Here is why: Should Obama win the Electoral College, we must not give him a popular mandate. The only chance we have of helping Obama choose (3) -- that is making sure he thinks more about the trappings of the president than the power of the president -- is to minimize his claims to a mandate.
We can do this. No matter which state you live in, no matter how large the majority of the vote in your state is for either McCain or Obama, conservatives must vote for John McCain.
Larrey Anderson is a writer, a philosopher, and submissions editor for American Thinker. His latest award-winning novel is The Order of the Beloved.