It is finally here: the last 48 hours of the 2008 Presidential Election. Soon all of the world will know who will be taking over as “leader of the free world” after President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009.
By now it is no secret to anyone that the departure of W is an eagerly anticipated event by members of both parties. It is true also that the Bush Presidency has been marked by many troubling events, with some managed better than others.
As the Nation approaches this surely historical change in command, before we allow the historians and pundits to define the truth for us, now is the time to step back and take a breath, to recollect the last eight years.
The growth and change we have seen as a nation has been vast and stunning. Under President Bush, we have evolved from the travesty of the Clinton approach to foreign policy, to a country dedicated to seeing our international commitments through to the end. (Contrast the failures of Clinton in the Balkans and Somalia to the success in helping stabilize Iraq and there is no comparison.) The bottom line is we are stronger and more effective.
Furthermore, in the last eight years the nation has come to terms with the reality that we live in a new and more dangerous world than we previously understood. We have seen what our international neighbors are truly capable of doing to us as a people. The reality that we simply cannot all be friends has become a center-stage reality. The most troubling aspect of this truth is not the fact it exists (for it surely has always been) but is the fact that even now there are those on the far left that still want to dilute this self-proving truth.
Looking to the U.S. economy, it is clear that there is a problem. Yet to associate this with President Bush or the Republican Party is a great mistake, and academically dishonest. It was the Democrats after all who helped bring about the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. This law is arguably half the source of our current housing and lending woes. This garbage law, paired with a lessening of fiscal planning and personal responsibility, created a recipe for disaster long before President Bush ever stepped near the White House.
In the next 48 hours as we prepare to vote (realizing that many of us probably already have) remember these truths about the last eight years. Think about what we have learned about the need for an honest leader with strength, wisdom, and experience. Remember all we have learned as a country in the last eight years, the next four years will surely have related incidents. After you have done all of this, when you have considered all of the facts, it is my sincere hope you realize one thing above all else; with all we know now this is the time for a leader; a leader who puts country first. The only leader that fits this mandatory set of criteria is John McCain.