Saturday, November 08, 2008

After Barack Obama, Who is Next?

It's over. Barack Obama is president of the United States. He has shown great promise during the campaign, and I grew to admire his intelligence, his focus, and his people skills. In so many ways, he stood in stark contrast to how John McCain presented himself. McCain became a kind of pit bull with no teeth, nipping and howling but with the bite of a gnat. Obama responded politely to these nips and returned to the point. no bite. McCain's supporters slimed Obama, and Obama responded with his side of the story and continued to stay focused.

My hope now is that the Obama administration can bring stability and civility to the United States and that Obama can fulfill his dream of being president of us all. Short-sighted politicians have exploited fears and differences that increased the divisions among us. In some ways, this could turn out okay if we honestly and calmly examine our fears of others and realize that we have much more in common than many politicians ever acknowledged and that many of our differences are to be celebrated. Our differences make us unique. When we have differences based on distortions and misrepresentations of other people, then this we must examine and change.

Obama has taken on a job that requires national and international good will and cooperation. He cannot do it alone, and he must reach out. People who are positioned to make things better must respond. This is truly a two way street and a joint venture.

As relieved as I am about Obama's election, I have lived long enough to know that even if his administration does catalyze reform and things change for the better, I question how long that will last. Many times in the history of this country and even in my lifetime, the quality of life in the US has risen and fallen. Even if things get better in the US during an Obama administration, how long will that last?

I spoke to Pam Monroe earlier today. Pam is a brilliant woman and a professor at Louisiana State University. She said that Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, has what it takes to be president. Jindal is a Republican, and now in my more mature years I see that the two-party system not only is essential but American votes want periodic change of party. If it is time for a Republican to be president in eight years, I hope it is Jindal or someone just like him. From what Pam said and from what I know of him, he would not only continue constructive policies, but he too would aspire to be president of all of us. He reminds me of Obama in his intelligence, skills, and vision.

It is not too early to think of who will be the next president. We must choose wisely. Our nation is fragile. Eight years of stability is not enough for a turn-around. We must have constructive policies for generations to come.

Fiona Speaks is a pseudonym of Jane Gilgun who likes to laugh and talk. This blog is a way for me to connect with witty people who like to talk about ideas and how to connect with what's important. To do this, I want to examine and demystify the blocks I see to building connections and community with other people. Join me.

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The blog is for witty people who want to build community. In this world that seems to be so full of witless efforts to self-aggrandize, I want to promote the simple idea of human connection.