One President at a Time
You can talk about “voter fraud” and “stealing elections” all you want but the fact remains that if Obama is certified by the electoral college and the House of Representatives as President of the United States, that ends the discussion in our republic. There is no more important aspect of democracy than the minority accepting the will of the majority. The constitution gives the minority certain protections against getting steamrolled by the majority. But it doesn’t give the minority the right to torpedo the legitimacy of the winner.
This is more than a question of “fair play” or being a “sore loser.” The Constitution says we have only one president at a time. Given the importance of that office, it is stark raving lunacy to seek to destroy the man occupying it.
Yes. This is exactly right. And this is why, you’ll notice if you crawl the Whatever archives, I have made a point of noting that George Bush is my president. Here’s a representative quote on the matter, from 2005, on the subject of Bush’s 35% popularity rating (which at the time seemed, you know, pretty low):
You’ll note, however, that I did not say that I was happy that Bush has such a God-awful rating. I’m not. Having a weak and deeply unpopular president makes us vulnerable as a nation, particularly when we are engaged in a war, and especially when engaged in a war that it is becoming increasingly clear the origins of which are best described as an administration misadventure. I don’t like Bush, and I wish he weren’t president; nevertheless he is my president, and my country is ill-served at home and abroad by his weaknesses, both real and perceived.
At this point in time, it seems rather likely that the candidate I support will be the one that wins; after two elections of things going the other way, I’m all for this. However, in the unlikely event that in the next three weeks McCain makes a stunning comeback and wins the election, I will do two things:
1. Accept the fact that the will of the American people has made him the 44th President of the United States;
2. Get sweet, sweet religion so I may pray to high holy God every single day and twice on Sunday that he remains healthy for the entire run of his candidacy, because the thought of a President Palin makes my bowels want to liquefy.
And if McCain did kick off, guess what? Palin would be my President. And then in 2012 I would do everything I could to get her out of that office. Because that’s the way these things work.
One of the reasons I have always registered as an independent voter is that I believe my highest allegiance as a voter is not to a political party but to the Constitution of the United States, the foundational document of our law. Our Constitution sets up the system we use to choose a president. If a candidate — any candidate — fulfills the requirements of that system to become our president, then I believe it’s my duty to acknowledge that, yes, that candidate is now my president. I can criticize that president, argue with that president, loathe that president and work to replace that president in the manner allowed for by the Constitution… but what I can’t do is deny that he or she is my president. That’s wrong, factually and morally, and it’s dismissive of the Constitution of the United States.
So, if the other guys wins the election this year, what I hope you will do is acknowledge that he is your president, and wish him well in guiding the nation through the next four years. Be in opposition, but be a loyal opposition, with your loyalty to the Constitution and the nation it allows to be. It’s just a thought for you as we go into the last weeks of this campaign.