Obama Nation

“Control the coinage and the courts, the rabble can have the rest.”

– The Princess Irulan, in Frank Herbert’s Dune

Sometime tonight, as I will be flying to Tokyo on the first leg of an around the world speaking tour, the captain will awaken us to the news that Senator Barack Obama has been elected president. This will most surely happen. If not, television advertising is dead in America and the networks will have to refund money to corporate advertisers, for Obama has clearly outspent his rival these last days.

And something else will happen in that airplane. Unless I am mistaken, it will explode in cheers.

Now I am a rare breed. I am among several hundred persons who devote their lives to the research and study of presidential history but unlike the rest of them, I am a conservative, Republican. So I have been getting a fare amount of e-mails from sincere people who are alarmed by the prospect of an Obama win and are looking for some perspective. So here you go.

In March, if you followed this blog, you read my prediction that Obama would win the nomination from Hillary and he would win the presidency. Although I added, “the media will milk the suspense right up to the end. After all, they are in show business. And yes, there are weird things that happen in politics and so there is a small possibility that it may not happen. Maybe they will find a brain tumor or a girl friend. Otherwise, we are on track for Obama.”

So the first thing I want to say is to lay off John McCain. The Republican brand was severely damaged. The economy was in the tank. He ran a surprisingly competitive campaign, even though I suspect it will drown in tonight’s landslide. Yes, landslide, electoral and otherwise. McCain is one of those rare losers who will come out of this experience looking good and without the smell of defeat because he did so remarkably well with the cards he was dealt.

The second thing I want my friends to do is to take a deep breath and enjoy, yes enjoy, this history making moment. This is a nation that loves its Constitution, its Declaration of Independence, its Bill of Rights. And yet all those lofty documents and all of their lofty language – “All men are created equal” – was written by men and women who tolerated and accommodated the slavery of a huge percentage of their fellow man. And those men and women were enslaved African Americans, the victims of crimes, kidnapped and violently taken against their will or descended of parents and grandparents who had experienced that trauma.

This is a great moment in American history. It is so unprecedented that one must leave government experience to find comparisons, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson. Even leave the country and the century.

I have made some comparisons to Andrew Jackson. He was the first westerner to win election. All the others had been members of the American Colonial aristocracy. They had come from either Massachusetts or Virginia. Jackson proved that a common man could win the White House. Most are unaware that Jackson was more popular in his time than Washington.

There will be comparisons to Lincoln, raised in abject poverty. His mother reportedly used thorns to hold her dress together. She didn’t have a door to her cabin or even a floor. The new wife got those luxuries.

But really, Jackson and Lincoln are only blurry images of the presidential history you are living in right now. This is unprecedented.

The other point I want to make to you is that the American politics of the left and the right, which seems so urgent and dangerous to you now, are really very close to each other. At least, compared to other countries and other societies. And they are instructed by trends that are deeply societal, beyond partisan platforms. If John McCain had been elected, Roe vs. Wade would not likely have been overturned. And now with Barack Obama we are not likely to return to courts who coddle criminals and punish victims. Keep in mind. We have just witnessed the socialization of the American Banking system and it has happened on the watch of your own, “conservative,” Republican, George W. Bush. Nothing the “liberal” Obama will do can really compare to such a “leftist” act.

So if Barack Obama is not the “cure all” that many liberals are hoping, and he will in fact at time disappoint them dearly, neither is he the beast that conservative, fund raisers, and activists will now portray. Understand, they are in “the sky is falling business.” Nothing personal, it pays the bills.

And finally, as I have pointed out in my earlier posts…. there is much good, even for conservatives, to come out of this moment.

For one thing, Obama will be immensely popular in the world. And popularity means power. Obama standing down Iran, with the world at his back, is far more intimidating than George W. Bush launching threats that the whole world, including the Iranians, know he can’t deliver. And the same applies to Russia and any other possible confrontation.

Secondly, a popular America will once again be a magnet of investment and just in time to help us in this economic crisis.

Finally, the restored American brand seals for our lifetime the American dream. Even if we are to later have another Bush, the world knows that American can also find another Obama too. In their mind, we can re-invent ourselves. It will engender more patience for future errant administrations.

Now, get ready. In the coming two years, as Republicans you are going to feel helpless. You are going to feel as if your heartfelt belief in free enterprise and the genius of the constitution and family values are forever lost. Because, make no mistake, the popularity of this president is only beginning on election night. It will rise and rise. And when the economy recovers, as it would have under McCain, or even Bush, for that matter, Obama will get the credit and be re-elected in an even bigger landslide next time.

Just remember that life and politics cycle. Hubris has its own built in braking system. And hubris follow success as surely as the sun appears in the morning. And there will be another Reagan to rise and show us the other side of the coin. The same people who cheer the left now, will one day see the need to re-embrace the best elements of the right. Don’t panic, enjoy the ride.

And what a ride it will be.

When the Obama motorcade rolls down the Champs Elysee a hundred thousand people will be weeping and cheering the American president, your president, my president, with joy. When he touches down in Kenya, three million people, an ocean of people will welcome him. And a whole continent will awaken with pride and hope of a better future. When he visits Jakarta, four million people will line the road from the airport to city center and the fourth largest Muslim nation on earth will be dancing in the streets. For a while, American will be stronger, and ironically, Israel will be safer. The sun will shine, for a while.

So don’t panic, don’t miss the moment. After the election ends, we will all be Americans again. No one says you have to relax your intellectual vigilance, or forfeit your views, or agree with everything that happens. But you can enjoy the fact that the American dream is real. And the long nightmare of the African American people is over. And incidentally, property values will never again be determined by the color of a person’s skin but by the content of their character, for the most socially important person in the country, the one who will dictate fashion and taste will be Michelle Obama.

So, take some advice from one who has given his life to the study of presidential history. Relax. Be proud of a great moment. Pray for your new president and his family. And join the celebration.

Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

17 thoughts on “Obama Nation

  1. Wow. For a dyed-in-the-wool, unreconstructed conservative to makes these comments is simply amazing. So, no matter what happens today, (and we’ll see, there still could be a Truman-type surprise), I have more respect for you because you have the ability to see the bigger picture for our country.

  2. What a maudlin piece of tripe you’ve just written, Doug.

    This “long nightmare” you’ve alluded to on the part of American blacks has been largely self-imposed.

    When American blacks can compete on their own without the help of government programs and a liberal criminal justice system, then we can cheer. We may be witnessing the ugliest and most egregious application of affirmative action ever.

    We may also be witnessing the biggest guilt purge ever in the history of the WASP culture in America.

    You don’t decide on who your leaders should be based on emotion, either. It’s a testament of how pathetic Americans can be.

    Doug, you’re very disappointing. It seems like you are more interested in poising your own “brand” for success in a post-election era by simply going along with the winning team to get along with them.

    Quislings end up paying dearly in the end, Doug.

  3. Dear DB,

    Remember the day your favorite candidate didn’t make it through the primaries? Mitt was it? & Then you had to endorse McCain…even though he was a moderate conservative…but it sure was better than being a Loser? Well don’t look now because…IT’S NOT OVER YET!

    Anyone who is politically saavy…as yourself…should know that November 4th is NOT the ‘real’ Election Day. It’s…December 15th! That’s the official day that the Electoral College cast their votes. Any vote before that is simply a ‘pledged’ vote. & Since there are only (5) states that punish flip-flopping a ‘pledged’ vote…that leaves us with (45) SWING states! Talk about a Game-Changer!

    So don’t stop digging dirt for the McCain campaign! Don’t be like the populists & give up at a time like this! I know you still got some mud left in your tank…just keep on pitching! All it takes is one conspiracy theory & then…P.O.W.! Obama will never know what hit him!

    As for me…I’ll be watching the NBA. The NY Knicks earlier this year finally replaced Isiah Thomas, the team President. He was young, black, untested…& he SUCKED!!! I’m talking worse than W. (Hard to imagine…but at least W can still say America is #1!) Took an eternal (6) years to get rid of the guy. Now he is replaced by Donnie Walsh…an old white guy, with CEO experience from another NBA team! & Get this: one of their best tall players is a white guy (David Lee @ 6′-9″) & their best short player is a black guy (Nate Robinson @ 5′-9″)! It’s a topsy-turvy world here at Madison Square Garden!

    But you probably could care less…because you’re a Laker fan. Not because Schwarzeneggar is Governor of the state…but because the only Jew in NBA is playing with Kobe Bryant (Jordan Farmar @ 6′-2″).

    So look for me the next time you’re flying in your private heli. I’ll be the one lying on the ground…making ‘lawn’ angels! I figure I better get used to it…not because of global warming…but because economically speaking it turns out…’Kwanzaa’ can come when you least expect it.

    Give me a holler if you need help with that sign…the one that says…’UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE IS SOCIALISM’.

    & Happy Early Hanukkah, my friend! (…or do you prefer…Chanukah?…)

    Yores Trooly,


  4. I read this last night before watching any of the election. It gave me a great sense of peace and I had no doubt that you would be right.

  5. Unbelievable blog. Doug, you are the best! Would it be okay to repost part of this to my blog? Thanks for sharing your eloquence and wisdom. Have a great speaking tour around the world.

  6. Doug,

    Let’s hope you are correct. Any chance of this being the Carter II presidency though?

    Also, you write:

    “And yet all those lofty documents and all of their lofty language was written by men and women…”

    Women? I do not remember seeing any woman’s name under the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. Please correct me if I overlooked any of the fairer sex in those conventions. Those women would have had to support the non-voting status of their sex in the constitution.

    Also, you say:

    “who tolerated and accommodated the slavery of a huge percentage of their fellow man”

    A HUGE percentage? More than half of the country at the time did not have ANY slavery, so there we are talking about 0%.

    Please inform me as to the actual numbers involved. It may very well have been in the 10-25% range of all southern citizens/residents, but for the nation as a whole, I doubt very much that it was >10%. That is a large, and unjustly so, percentage, but not huge.

  7. Looking at it to be sure, there were slaves at about 16% of total US population in 1780-1790, virtually all of which were in the south.

    So for the large majority of people, in the non slave states, the point is correct, whereas the balance in the south was heavier.
    I still think that huge is not the correct word, when talking about a citizen of New England or New York for example, and that it overstates the case for much of the country, when the notion of tolerance is the issue at hand.

    In 1860 the slave population of the south reached about 1/3 of the population at 4 mil.

  8. Interesting here people in Korea and all over Asia know Obama speeches bad for them, no jobs here, all jobs back to America, but still everyone cheer him. very strange. they like him anyway because he is black man. and me to like him.

  9. Dear Mr. Wead,

    I appreciate your perspective regarding the current political events, and would like to humbly respond to a few of your points. I confess that I have no education outside of high school, follow politics only during the 6-8 months prior to an election, and am a painter by trade. That is to say, I do not pretend to be able to match your expertice or wisdom, I actually had to look up the word “hubris” in the dictionary!

    If I understand the tone of your statement, you are gently advising that we see the potential of an Obama presidency, rather than focusing on the negative possibilities. First of all, while I too, am grateful to see an African American elected president, I hope it wasn’t his skin color that got him elected. If racism is truly dead, than we as Americans should have no more reason to vote for someone because of their skin color than we would have to vote against them for the same reason. If McCain and Obama’s skin colors were reversed, would Obama still have won? All this is to make this point: I’m grateful we finally have a black president, I wish it were not Barack Obama.

    Secondly, you say if McCain were elected, Roe v. Wade would not be overturned. True, I don’t believe it will ever be overturned. However, are we closer now or further away from tax-funded abortions? Are we closer or further away from re-legalizing partial-birth abortions? Will the next President represent a culture of life or Godless immorality regarding this issue? I rest my case.

    Thirdly, you briefly address various things such as the socialization of the banking industry, our unpopularity in the world, Iran, etc. as things that happened under Bush, a conservative. Your response to these issues seems to hint that no President can be a “cure all”. Well, the economic crisis is a result of liberal legislative policies and poor Presidential leadership; our unpopularity in the world is a result (in part) of our doing “unpopular” things (not necessarily wrong); and threats like Iran exist because the world as a whole is unwilling to prevent it.

    The real issue is, if all we know about Obama is true, things can only get worse! He’ll only cater (with the help of a Democratically controlled Legislature) to liberal policies that cause economic turmoil. He may make us more popular in the world, but only through appeasement and pandering to dictators. I can only hope you are correct that Obama will stand up to Iran, but to have this hope I must ignore what I already know about him, as well as Biden.

    He will, in fact, be “immensely popular”. Yes, so will the Anit-Christ (no, Obama is not the Anti-Christ). As a Christian, I am leary of any world leader that the world embraces as you predict he will be.

    Finally, I humbly confess that I do not understand your statements regarding property values and Michelle Obama. Our current housing crisis (which directly affects my investments as well as my career) was caused by liberals who allowed the lending of money to people that couldn’t afford to pay it back. It was, in most cases, the color of people’s skin that deemed them worthy to recieve a loan, rather than their character. So how can Michelle Obama, who shares the mindset of those that caused this crisis, be any kind of remedy? Anyone who wasn’t proud of her country until she was within reach of the White House is going to have to try a lot harder to earn my trust and respect.

    I wish it were practical to believe that Obama will do good because the power of his Presidency will cause him to be good. Have we already forgotten that “all power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely”? Forgive me if I hold-back my elation, I can’t see much good coming from a man who is apparently so deceptive; “…even satan disguises himself, masquerading as an angel of light.”

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, I plan to pray for him, as much or more so than for President Bush; but to “join the celebration” is to give into the belief that those that fought to keep him out of the White House did so because “it pays the bills”(as you discreetly hinted). I did my best to keep him out of the White House because of his propsed plans to fix the economy, which, if implemented, would prevent me from paying my bills.

    I’m willing to stand corrected by you, Mr. Wead, knowing full well that you have dedicated your life to the study of these things. I truly hope I am wrong about my perspective. Hopefully the perspective we both share is that God has appointed Barack Obama to be OUR next president, regardless of whether we believe it is for the good of the country, or the good of His Kingdom.

    Humbly and most sincerely yours,
    Dan Wendt

  10. Although I’m angered by the associations that President Elect Obama has with radical individuals- I can only hope he turns back to at least left of middle. It would have never crossed my mind to even consider a vote for Obama. How could I compromise everything I believe in just to celebrate a historical achievement. Some voted just to make history. I have never voted anything but principle. When I think of principle, I think of Ron Paul never voting for a unbalanced budget and declining Social Security payments because he doesn’t believe in the system. Call me an idealist and you’ll pay me a compliment. Am I glad for blacks in America- sure I am without a question. It’s just a shame that we aren’t talking about JC Watts or Booker T. Washington, Thomas Sowell or Clarence Thomas.

    I didn’t compromise my own beliefs and I kept my word. I said that if Mike Huckabee was not on the ticket I would vote for someone other than the Republican nominee. I did. If Ron Paul would have been on the ballot I would have voted for him, since he wasn’t I voted for the the Constitution party candidate Chuck Baldwin. It was a toss up between he and Bob Barr and for me it came down to personality and perceived character.

    Last thought, I have heard Doug Wead speak about our democracy or republic if you will; as a small flicker in the history of the world. We represent two hundred and thirty years or so in 6000 years of recorded history. It wouldn’t take much to that flicker out. I think this time around the sky may actually fall, not because of Obama; but because we’ve lost our way for so many years. How long does the world want our IOU’s? Maybe a little longer since Obama will garner their praises. But after that?

  11. Dear Dan Wendt:

    “I hope it wasn’t his skin color that got him elected.”

    I’m sorry, but it was, plus the fact that he isn’t a Republican linked to Bush.

  12. Redneck Raleyb:

    “I would have voted for him, since he wasn’t I voted for the the Constitution party candidate Chuck Baldwin.”

    That was the same as a vote for Obama, you selfish and foolish dolt. The sound of your knuckles dragging over a ballot was never more evident yesterday at what was no doubt a smelly outhouse doubling as a polling headquarters.

  13. Redneck raleb: “we’ve lost our way for so many years.”

    Stop projecting your own personal failures on others. I thought your Jaaay-zuuuus was supposed to lead you on your way. Where’s he been for the last few years? Slacking on the job?

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