Friday, November 07, 2008

Happy and Sad

Obama won! I'm happy. America voted for a smart, decent, successful family man who just happened to be (in his own words) a mutt. Unfortunately, white America voted for the other guy and his breathtakingly inept sidekick, complemented by Joe the Plumber. This election was a watershed, but the demographics of the win tell me that America has a long way to go. That makes me sad.

Bush has one foot out the door, and those who call themselves republicans (desecrating a proud name) have less influence in congress. I'm happy. Unfortunately, eight years of benighted rule have come to a crashing conclusion. The only good thing is that the crash happened on their watch, but it is a crash par excellance! America and the world are in for a tough time because employment is fueled by spending, and there will be a lot less of that for a good while. I'm sad, but not as sad as those millions who will fall from "barely making it" to a life of despair. Remember when we trusted government to regulate and protect our economy?

The price of oil has dropped precipitously due to the economic slowdown, so it costs less to fill up my van. I'm happy. But, the falling price of oil makes alternative energy sources expensive again. Will we be so shortsighted as to slow down our conversion to green energy? If so, I'll be sad.

World leaders are circling the wagons to come up with a joint economic recovery plan. I'm happy. But, hard times have often caused countries to combat internal distress by conjuring a foreign enemy. Sadly, wars are excellent depression-fighters unless your country is unlucky enough to be on the losing side.

My four daily workplaces (Cameron Community Ministries, Pittsford Volunteer Ambulance, Christ Clarion Presbyterian Church, and Lake Avenue Baptist Church) make me happy because they are filled with optimistic people who try to love their neighbors as themselves. The down economy is going to affect them like it affects everything else. I'm sad.

In times like this one is drawn to consider the long view. Things go up, things go down, things go up. Has the earth shrunk enough that all of us people will be motivated to join hands and work out some new ways to manage how we live on it? It's getting to be that time, and I'd love to see it happen before I die.


Sonja's Mom said...

I must take execption to your statement "white America voted for the other guy and his breathtakingly inept sidekick". I am white America and not only did I vote for Obama, I put a sign in my yard, blogged about him, sent emails and talked to anyone I could about him. All of my white friends voted for him also, as we knew he was the best choice for our country. By the way - we are also Republicans.

Do you really think that Obama won solely on the votes of Africian Americans?

Lifehiker said...

Well, Sonja's mom, I'm republican too, and I campaigned pretty hard for Obama. But the demographics show that blacks went for Obama 95% to 5%, and that was what put him over the hump.

White voters favored McCain, 55% to 43%, probably driven by huge margins for McCain in the red states.

See this link for the complete demographics provided by the New York Times.

My white friends generally went for Obama, but those at my country club were majority for McCain, probably based on tax policy more than race.

We still have a long way to go for America to be race-neutral.

Ron Davison said...

The week after an election is, I think, a week when it is fair to be optimistic. Me? I'm choosing to be happy - without caveat. Starting this coming week, I'll start wringing my hands like any good blogger should. For now, I'll just do a little jig.

1138 said...

"Unfortunately, white America voted for"

45% of White America voted for Obama.

I've got news for you that's more than Clinton got.

Your framing on this borders on racist.

The right man happened to be African American and if you look at this economy that was fundamentally sound according to Mr McCain and it's disproportionate impact on minority America you can see why they voted against the Republican candidate.
It may be black and white, but not the way you make it sound.

1138 said...

Things like this may drive the price of oil down even further.

Even if the tiny reactors are used to power just half of the potential 20,000 homes, the cost is still only $2,500 per household for at least six years of electricity, or about $413 per year

Less demand on traditional sources is less demand, coal collapses making it competitive in more markets with oil, oil plummets as a result and electric cars rise in number as the electric grid is reshaped.