Election Day 2008 is a day that we made history, but I do not think we made as much history as people would like us to believe. Yes, we elected the first African-American president, but did it mark an end to discrimination? I don’t think so. Had Election Day 2008 marked an end to discrimination, I don’t think we’d have noticed so much that we elected an African-American. If you notice things like that, you’re still discriminating.
We have a chance to make history today, election day 2012, too. But will it be big history or little history? The second time we elect an African-American president – little history. The first time we elect a Mormon president – little history. If nobody notices race or religion much – big history. And we will not know the answer to the big or little history question tonight either. The answer will come in the retrospective and summary pieces published over the next few weeks.
But today is also a day to reclaim history. Bigger than questions of race and religious identity are questions about just what kind of nation we want from this point forward. I don’t need to lay out for you at this juncture the deep differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. For some months now the differences between the European-style social democratic state that seems to be the vision of Barack Obama and the traditional American vision of small government and self-reliance that Mitt Romney represents have been spelled out for us in excruciating detail. In the last days, since September, we have seen a stark contrast between the indecision and appeasement reflexes of Obama and the assurances of American strength and resolve routinely offered by Romney. Unfortunately, we have seen this last contrast spelled out for us in the painful and regrettable deaths of four great Americans serving their nation.
For those of us of faith, the biggest difference of all is the free practice of our religions represented by Mitt Romney against the use of government coercion to make us act against our most deeply held moral convictions.
I think today we are going to see Americans make history by reclaiming history – by turning the nation back to the things that have made it great – self-reliance, economic prosperity and our fundamental freedoms. Be sure and do your part to reclaim history – VOTE!
Lowell adds . . .
It’s been six and one-half years since John and I started this blog. What an interesting journey it has been. Now is the day we decide whether Mitt Romney will be president of the United States. Amazing.
I find myself agreeing with Peggy Noonan. (I don’t always do that.)
We begin with the three words everyone writing about the election must say: Nobody knows anything. Everyone’s guessing. I spent Sunday morning in Washington with journalists and political hands, one of whom said she feels it’s Obama, the rest of whom said they don’t know. I think it’s Romney. I think he’s stealing in “like a thief with good tools,” in Walker Percy’s old words. While everyone is looking at the polls and the storm, Romney’s slipping into the presidency. He’s quietly rising, and he’s been rising for a while.
I hope she is right. What I am certain of is this: Mitt Romney is an excellent man, one of the finest of men. I think the American people have gotten a whiff of this fact, and that has something to do with why many voters have turned to him in the last four weeks.
But being a fine man is not enough. Jimmy Carter was a fine man, but an ineffective president. Romney is a fine man who is also supremely competent, a man who does not fail a trust given to him. I thought of the Governor when I read these lines by Raymond Chandler, sent to me by a friend:
…down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.
I hope that man is elected President today.