The End Of The Beginning

Over past few days, I have seen, both online and in my physical-world travels, various signs, buttons, images, and advertisements all proclaiming the same thing:  “YES WE DID!”

To the people who put those up, I want to say something:  don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.  The real fight has only just started.

Barack Obama is our President-elect now.  This is beyond good; this is a change in America unlike anything ever seen before.  Don;t get me wrong; I’m over the moon about Obama’s victory.  I just don’t see it as the end of the many, many problems facing America today, and I’m not going to sit back and say “I voted for Obama, I did my part, it’s all up to him now.”  It, by which I mean making this country a better place, is and always has been up to us. . .or should I say “we,” as in, “We, the people.”

And, as always, there are people opposed to the changes that we, the people, spoke out and voted for, in record numbers, last Tuesday.

Let’s not forget that there is stll someone else in the White House, and he’s got two months to finish fucking up America and making it such a huge mess that it will be difficult for the next President to fix things, let alone to know where to start.

What’s Bush been up to while we were all busy watching the election and lost in celebrations afterwards?  Well, he’s reduced the number of outpatient services that will be covered under Medicare, meaning more poor people will be unable to get medical attention, plus hospitals that depend on Medicare will suffer budget shortfalls.  The Bureau of Land Management has announced that it will soon began selling leases to drill for oil. . .in Utah, where the expected amount of oil to be found is barely enough to justify the expense of drilling, but the damage to surrounding parks and natural wonders will be incalculable.  His office has spoken out against the European hope of creating a new international financial regulator, choosing instead to seek better enforcement of current regulations (how have those been working out so far, by the way?).  They’ve launced new attacks on wolves in Yellowstone National Park, according to the Defenders Of Wildlife.  All that, in addition to numerous other offense against civil liberties, the environment, and abortion rights.

So, while you’ve been celebrating, they’ve been quite busy, without having to worry about media scrutiny.

That’s enough to worry about, to me.  But there is, of course, more.

John McCain lost the election, decisively and with no way to claim he was cheated or that the election was stolen.  He’s not a threat anymore.  But his campaign. . .see, in the name of winning at any costs, the McCain campaign, in its final weeks, turned to three things that usually work for the GOP:  stirring up fear, anger, and prejudice against their opponents, promoting an “us against them” mentality and using the tactics of division to propel themselves to victory.

Obviously, that didn’t work this time.

But, once awakened, that three-headed beast of fear, anger, and prejudice doesn’t go back to sleep just because someone lost.  Already, a cross has been burned on the yard of an Obama supporter (in New Jersey, of all places).  The KKK’s national director, Thomas Robb, states that he sees Obama’s election as a great recruitment tool for the struggling Klan, as a reminder that whites “have lost power in this country.”  Given the negative emotions that Mr. McCain’s absolutely disgraceful campaign stirred up (if you watched his concession speech, look at the audience and at the anger they feel. . .that emotion has to go somewhere, after all, and the Thomas Robbs of the world will be waiting to turn that anger towards their own purposes), Mr. Robb may be correct in that his recruitment will increase, but I think it will be just as due to McCain’s negative campaigning as it will Obama’s actual victory.  (Interestingly enough, Robb points out in that interview that Obama is half-black, something that everyone else seems to forget.  Are Thomas Robb and I the only people that want to give credit and recognition to Obama’s entire heritage?  That’s scary.)

So, in addition to all the problems we had before, Bush is using this time to make new ones, and America may have new enemies inside its own borders now, thanks to strongly negative campaigning by the GOP.

YES WE DID get Barack Obama elected.  But NO WE DIDN’T instantly fix America.  That’s going to take a lot of time, thinking, sacrifice, and work on the part of all Americans, not just our new President-Elect and his cabinet.

I can not help but recall the words of Winston Churchill after the defeat of the Germans in North Africa in 1942, a major turning point of World War II:

Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

For all those that seek change, our war is just beginning, too.

VS – 11.9.08

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5 Responses to “The End Of The Beginning”

  1. Funny that you quote Churchill, here is how he felt about your ilk…

    Winston Churchill expounded further on leftist ideology:

    “Let them quit these gospels of envy, hate and malice. Let them eliminate them from their politics and programmes. Let them abandon the utter fallacy, the grotesque, erroneous fatal blunder of believing that by limiting the enterprise of man, by riveting the shackles of a false equality…they will increase the well-being of the world.”

  2. vagabondsaint Says:

    “Everyone is entitled to their own wrong opinion.” – Brad Cooper

    VS – 11.9.08

  3. your ilk? I had every intention of commenting on your blog. It makes me so sad to see the lines of separation already drawn. So, instead I’m going to comment on the prior comment.

    “To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”

    Again, Churchill.

    In my opinion… the comment became invalid with two simple words.

    As always Vagabondsaint, I find your blog to be well worth reading. I agree with most of it. Keep it up.

    ~KdB

  4. “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”

    Yet another tidbit from Churchill.

    Sorry for leaving two comments, This one actually isn’t mine to leave, I read the blog, and the comment to my sister. She asked me to leave this one.

    So, from Jesica.

  5. You can do something about this. Go to a meeting to discover what you personally can do: http://my.barackobama.com/page/m2/55c13ebd/6c5c3899/d70d589/11884d15/4046444460/VEsE/

    Comment at http://change.gov. Amazingly, Tom Daschle sat down over Thanksgiving weekend and read over 29,000 comments on healthcare (one of which was mine). His assistant mentioned specific commenters by name in the video. My comment wasn’t mentioned, btw.

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