Friday, October 31, 2008

A McCain Voter Contemplates an Obama Presidency

I was going to write a poignant, insightful post about why this McCain voter is undismayed by the prospect of an Obama victory, but Peggy Noonan beat me to it. Saves me a few pixels, I suppose. An excerpt:

A great moment: When the press was hitting hard on the pregnancy of Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter, he did not respond with a politically shrewd "I have no comment," or "We shouldn't judge." Instead he said, "My mother had me when she was 18," which shamed the press and others into silence. He showed grace when he didn't have to.

There is something else. On Feb. 5, Super Tuesday, Mr. Obama won the Alabama primary with 56% to Hillary Clinton's 42%. That evening, a friend watched the victory speech on TV in his suburban den. His 10-year-old daughter walked in, saw on the screen "Obama Wins" and "Alabama." She said, "Daddy, we saw a documentary on Martin Luther King Day in school." She said, "That's where they used the hoses." Suddenly my friend saw it new. Birmingham, 1963, and the water hoses used against the civil rights demonstrators. And now look, the black man thanking Alabama for his victory.

This means nothing? This means a great deal.

I'm voting McCain because I believe he has a better understanding of the cost of meekness in the face of fascism. But Obama has demonstrated that he knows he can't afford to be held hostage by the extreme pacifist wing of his party. Ironically, the success of the surge has worked against its champion, McCain. An Obama Presidency that might have been a disaster two years ago is much less frightening now that the advocates of surrender have lost interest in the war.

For me, the redemptive potential of electing a black man as President is not a sufficient reason to support the candidate I consider less qualified to be commander-in-chief. But if Obama wins, my vote for the other guy will not prevent me from celebrating a joyous milestone. As Noonan wrote, this means a great deal.

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