The good news: ‘No we can’t’ make big government work

First—a word about race. In case you haven’t heard, Barack Obama is our first president of African American descent. Since I don’t know his white mother’s ancestry (and don’t frankly care), I won’t bother to address the possible significance of the white side of his lineage.

As someone who was raised by parents who ignored race it’s a personal relief to me that Barack Obama’s election to the highest office in the land means that our entire country now lives in a post-racial society. I’ve never understood the fixation with race and am happy to move on to more important topics. I only wish that our first “black” president would’ve been one of these men instead: Walter Williams, Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Ken Blackwell or J.C. Watts.

While I realize that many people will constantly remind me that Obama has a darker skin tone than mine due to having one black parent, it’ll be easy for me nonetheless to continue to treat him as if his name was Barry O’Reilly and he hailed only from white America instead of only partially so.

Many of us who already live post-racially see Obama’s coming administration as the best of times and the worst of times. First, the worst. Check out and tell me we’re not in for the most left-wing presidency in American history. (UPDATE: the Washington Times reports the new website has been “scrubbed” of its liberal details here. We’ll watch to see how the wordsmiths attempt to rework it.)

That said, we can quickly move to the topic of it being the “best of times” for those of us interested in a resurgence of true GOP principles. Laboring to bring reform to the Republican Party should now get a whole lot easier.

Motivating people to act is difficult. Enticing people into the messy political process can be rough. Why should people step away from a good and full life to rub shoulders with the kind of obnoxious personalities you find in politics?

Thomas Jefferson noted these motivational challenges in the Declaration of Independence: “All experience hath shown that mankind is more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” But when “a long train of abuses” reaches critical mass, he suggested, people will exercise their “right” and their “duty” to “throw off such Government.”

For anyone who is depressed over the election of Mr. Obama, cheer up. His presidency will give us an opportunity to continue the work of cleaning out the Republican barn of its failed leaders and finally build the kind of movement that can succeed.

Obama’s election is all the proof we need that our GOP leaders have failed us. And more Americans will finally engage once they see the Obama-Pelosi-Reid trifecta pay off. We’re about to witness the most dramatic demonstration of why left-wing policies don’t work.

The recent past shows that you can’t advance when the political leaders of your own party muddle through and blur the differences between the two party’s visions.

When the war in Iraq is never adequately defended, it’s not understood and obviously won’t maintain public support.

When the value of human life and the role of personal behavior is treated as secondary (abortion and “homosexual rights”), it’s not surprising that the public sees them as “distractions” rather than destructive of the social fabric.

When a Republican administration and a Republican Congress increase the size of government faster than Lyndon Baines Johnson, expand entitlements, expand the federal role in education, and fail to do even the obvious things like simplify the tax code, don’t be surprised when the public doesn’t trust the party to bring reform.

Barack Obama is about to take the nation in almost every wrong direction – and as a result, he will fail.

Last week the Cato Institute’s Gene Healy said this:

“I think Barack Obama is going to be a terrible president, and that’s precisely why he’s going to be great. Here’s my prediction. Barack Obama is going to be one of the least effective, least popular presidents in the modern era. And his administration represents the best case in over a decade for a resurgence of limited government conservatism.”

I couldn’t agree more. For those who are looking for “hope” and real “change,” this is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for. If we recruit new leadership, build the party, and give time, energy, and resources, we can take advantage of these next four years and insure that Obama’s first term is his only term.