Opinion

‘Change’ comes in unexpected packages | Angie Vogt

The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become. — Charles DuBois

A funny thing happened on the way to our national path to “change.”

In what must happen to the president-in-waiting at some point during the transition, a spirit of gravity and reality has seemed to settle in. It comes at different points for every president. President-elect Barack Obama seems to be ahead of the game in gracefully accepting the sober reality and immense responsibility of the office upon which he will soon enter. Gripping firmly to the past by appointing so many Clinton-era veterans, while also holding on to some Bush insiders, Obama is sacrificing a bit of his campaign persona in order to usher in what he must become: A leader.

All the promises to break the mold of “Washington politics as usual” is not only phony, but it’s impossible to accomplish. When Bill Clinton took office in 1992 with less than 50 percent of the vote (Ross Perot siphoned off 20 percent of the vote that year as a third party spoiler), he was much less sophisticated than Obama. His appointment process was clunky and didn’t seem to get started until after inauguration.

One of his first executive decisions was an attempt to throw a gay-friendly bone to his liberal base by implementing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the military. That went over like the proverbial fly in the punchbowl.

It was as though the new President Clinton was just having a little fun with his newfound executive powers. That action began what was an eight-year strained relationship between the military and Clinton. His reality check didn’t come until the 1994 Republican Revolution, when the country loudly rejected Clinton’s tax increases and his wife’s attempts at implementing socialized medicine. Clinton eventually led the “new Democrat” movement, which embraced conservative principles of fiscal restraint and free trade. His course correction was the reason he became a popular president, once again proving that Americans only embrace liberals when they act like conservatives.

President Bush’s reality check came with the 9/11 attacks. I remember Bush’s campaign promises to steer the nation away from the “nation building” practices of the Clinton administration. Clinton had unilaterally acted to intervene in the Bosnian civil war, citing the immorality of genocide and the ineffectiveness of the United Nations and NATO. Bush condemned this involvement, on the grounds that American interests were not at stake.

Then came 9/11. The weight of seeing his own citizens murdered on our own soil took his presidency into an entirely different direction than any president since Pearl Harbor. The last seven years of the Bush administration have been almost completely defined by his commitment to breaking down the worldwide networks of terrorism.

Barack Obama, whose leadership experience is limited to urban renewal in the streets of Chicago, must also eventually meet his limitations. If he is to be effective, he will simply have to ignore the screeching left-wing bloggers who are already gnashing teeth at his appointments. Hopefully, Obama knows that the world stage is a world apart from the streets of Chicago or the halls of his Ivy League law school. Hopefully, he knows that the “blame America first” crowd that first vaulted him onto the national stage are spoiled little children who have no appreciation for how their freedoms have been purchased with the violence and bloodshed of past generations.

Hopefully, he will soon see that as Somali pirates commandeer the open waters and hold millions of barrels oil and tons of grain hostage, it will not be the French Navy called upon to vanquish the outlaws, nor the Saudi Navy and no, most especially not the Moveon.org or Daily Kos left-wing loons. It will be the only military in the world capable of pushing back against the world’s bullies. Hopefully, he will accept the reality that there have and always will be bullies, no matter how many times we do the diplomatic dance.

And finally, on this Thanksgiving weekend, my hope is that President-elect Obama will see how vacuous and shallow are the feminist groups who buzz around him like vultures, waiting to liberalize abortion again, making it possible during all nine months of pregnancy for any reason, as it was during the Clinton years. I hope he will realize that these feminists care about killing, not about the welfare of women.

The world this past week once again witnessed the assault on girls in the Middle East, who were splashed in the face with battery acid for daring to attend school, and two teenage girls who were buried alive for daring to choose their own husbands in defiance of Sharia law. Not one mention of these injustices by the NOW gang.

It is with the greatest hope I can muster that I ask for your prayers for our new president, whether you voted for him or not. With Thanksgiving for our freedoms and hope for the future of the world, let’s offer the prayer that President-elect Obama can sacrifice some part of who he is, for the leader he must become.

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