Obama a good thing? Maybe yes, maybe no
Many years ago in a far off land, a farmer lived quietly with his wife and young-adult son.
One morning he was awaken by a disturbance coming from his stable. When he reached the door he watched as his only horse galloped away through a break in his fence. Upon hearing the news, a passing neighbor said to the farmer, “I heard you lost your only horse this morning-that’s a terrible thing.” The farmed looked at the neighbor and said, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
The next morning the farmer was again awakened by a commotion near his stable. But this time the farmer’s wayward stallion had returned with a mare. Later that morning as the neighbor walked by the farmer’s house he said to the farmer, “It looks as if your stallion has found you a new mare, what good fortune.” The farmer replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
The next day, while trying to harness the mare to a plow, the farmer’s son was kicked by the horse breaking his son’s leg. Shortly afterward the neighbor again walked past the farmer’s house and inquired about the son. Upon hearing what had transpired, he said, “Oh, what a terrible thing to happen to your son.” Once again the farmer replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
The next day soldiers came to the farmer’s house telling him that his son of 21 years was required to join the army and fight for the emperor. But when the farmer told them of his son’s broken leg the soldiers left and the farmer’s son did not go off to war.
Upon hearing this story from the soldiers, who had come for the neighbor’s son as well, the neighbor later said to the farmer, “Oh, how wonderful, now your son will not have to go off to war as mine has.” The farmer replied, “Maybe yes, maybe no.”
I used that story to illustrate how events are not always what they seem.
My deadline for this commentary preceded Tuesday’s voting. Therefore, as of the time I submitted his commentary, I have no idea of who won or who lost or whether or not votes are still being counted in an obscure county in a battleground state.
But regardless of the winner, some will decry the election of President-elect Obama or McCain as an abomination, while others will rejoice at the direction they hope the new president will lead the country.
Which begs the question, were the results of this election beneficial for America? This much is clear: maybe yes, maybe no.
For Obama supporters, if their candidate won, from today through Inauguration Day, an expectation of what is to come will permeate the air followed by a giddiness or love affair with the new administration that will last until spring.
It’s doubtful the same euphoria will accompany a President-elect McCain. Nevertheless, a honeymoon of sorts would exist at least for the first 100 days of a McCain administration.
Will a President Obama’s bearing, presence and intelligence compensate for his lack of foreign policy experience on the world stage? Will a President McCain reach across the aisle and successfully engage an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress?
Could a President McCain shed the trappings of a third George Bush term, or would the nation benefit from a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress? To each the answer is maybe yes, maybe no.
Will either man be able to work with the Russians, North Koreans and Chinese to reduce or eliminate all nuclear weapons from the planet?
Will a President Obama shift the nation to a more liberal ideology, and more importantly, will it be good for America? Again, the answer to each of those questions is maybe yes, maybe no.
Can an Obama administration implement its social programs without gutting the military. Will a President McCain move beyond the special interests and finally put America on a path to energy self-sufficiency?
Will either man secure our borders? Once again, to each question the answer is maybe yes, maybe no. But then what?
The world has watched our election process with more curiosity and interest than usual. Most believed that both McCain and Obama were good men, but the interest turned to fascination because one of the candidates was black.
And if it is President-elect Obama, will the world community view this election as a “new beginning” for America, or if the Illinois senator did not win, will they view the process as “business as usual” in America? With each answer comes multiple and unforeseen consequences.
Regardless of how one feels about the results of this election, patriotic Americans must give the new administration an unfettered opportunity to prove itself regardless of any individual disillusionment or disappointment.
Sen. Obama is a young and gifted politician. Sen. McCain is a longtime Washington stalwart. Both deserve the respect accorded to the office, as well as the support of the American people.
It would be grossly unfair to pull the metaphorical rug out from under either man before their respective administrations have had the opportunity to prove themselves.
Quote of the day: “Optimism is the handmaiden of faith. Together, they help us see the light at the end of tunnels yet to be built.”
Butch Mazzuca is a business consultant and writes weekly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.