Wednesday, November 05, 2008

How am I going to know?

I could go on for a while about the election of Bark Obama--what it means and what it doesn't mean to me.

I'll sum it up.

I chose Obama over Hillary because he seemed to be saying that we need to get people together and work things out together while she seemed to be hanging on to the approach that we get things done by consolidating our power and riding down on our enemies to defeat them.

I like what I saw as the "Obama approach" because it is like (although hardly identical to) what is called "Quaker process."

I wish he would have talked about that more in the campaign but he obliquely referred to it from time to time, frequently enough to keep me going.

Now, we see.

He has won by a substantial margin and only the most partisan would claim that he does not have a "mandate" to move forward as he has talked about doing. But one of the ways he got that mandate was by trying to move beyond the red state-blue state, left-right approach--or at least claiming that's what he wanted to do.

I'll know it's what I voted for if he approaches problems in an inclusive way, listening to those with whom he disagrees and trying to fashion compromises that both get the job at hand done and that build enough support for those compromises to get them implemented.

If a man with a mandate can govern as though he just barely won he can get things done and unify the country.

We have just lived through eight years in which someone who just barely won swaggered around like he had a mandate and we are living with the aftermath.

"Look upon my works, Ye Mighty, and Despair."

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