General Question

dalepetrie's avatar

I have a very sincere and not at all partisan question for those of you who did NOT want Obama to win?

Asked by dalepetrie (18009points) November 5th, 2008

Now that he has, can you describe to me your feelings? I’m curious specifically if you are legitmately afraid, or if you’re just disappointed in the outcome but feel that’s the way it goes sometimes? Do you hope for a conciliatory future where both sides cooperate more, even though it might mean we try some ideas you’re not crazy about, or do you hope the handful of Republicans who kept their seats fight tooth and nail to ensure that Obama’s grand plans will not succeed and you’ll be able to start ‘taking back the country’ in 2 more years? What silver linings do you see (if any)? Are you willing to watch the next 4 years with an open, but skeptical mind, or are you of the opinion that now is the time for the greatest vigilance, because this outcome is not acceptable and must be reversed somehow?

I’m not looking to provoke any arguments here, I’m just curious to know how you are coping, and what this means to you in the grand scheme of things.

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43 Answers

jasongarrett's avatar

I’m disappointed, but that’s the way it goes. I’m used to the government doing things I don’t like no matter which party has the upper hand. I hope that we the people can be more conciliatory and less demonizing of each other, but I prefer governmental gridlock so I hope the remaining Republicans fight well.

mamasu's avatar

I am disappointed, but I certainly wouldn’t say I’m afraid. I think Obama carried out an excellent campaign and I am thrilled that an African American was elected president during my lifetime. I can remember teachers telling me that would never happen.

That being said, I have distinct trepidations about how his economic plans will impact my family and our company, and the economy on the whole. I have done the research and feel his proposed changes will lead to less than favorable outcomes for my family and for the larger picture regarding the economy as a whole.

That being said, I genuinely hope that the two parties can find a way to work together. I suspect that with certain issues, that will be the case. In others it’s bound to be the Democrat way or the highway. That’s the way it is with the current balance of powerl, and it would be the same if things were reversed, and I feel the system is working the way it’s supposed to.

Of course, I hope the few Republicans still there will hold their seats and fight, but I hope that fight is about the issues more than about ‘us against them.’ In addition, if the Republicans were to lose their seats, the system wouldn’t be working the way it is supposed to work. It’s meant to be 2 parties, not one.

I will watch the next 4 years with an open mind. I’ve done that with every president elected. I’m not one to say that being a part of my party makes a person right all the time any more than being a member of the other party makes a person wrong all the time. I will likely remain skeptical about some things, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised by others. Time will tell.

In my gut, I’m disappointed and have serious concerns, but I also carry hope that the system will work as it is supposed to for the benefit of this country. Regardless of who sits in the office the office is there to serve this country and I offer my respect to the person utilizing that office to serve their country.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Disappointed? Maybe. Afraid. Not so much afraid. More like cautiously waiting to see how much the good Senator..errr…President-Elect is going to cost me and what is going to happen to the company I work for. There is a change in wind. it just depends if it is going to blow hot or cold.

That said, I think he ran a great campaign and I hope he is successful for all of our sakes.

aidje's avatar

I’m not particularly disappointed, because I knew that he would win anyway. I am relieved that McCain didn’t win, even though I don’t like Obama, either. Might as well find something to be happy about.

I notice you speak of “both sides”—I continue to long for the day when we don’t even use such language. Politics aren’t dichotomous, and the continued use of such language perpetuates the illusion that there is no one else besides Democrats and Republicans. I couldn’t care less whether Democrats and Republicans are getting along, because from my perspective they’re quite alike anyway. I’m afraid I have quite a wait before anyone else gets much of a voice.

kelly's avatar

As a white college educated male and small business investor I am scared for my minority’s future in the face of the Demo machine that will rage in this country. Unions with fast track formation rules will cripple all size businesses, the minimum wage will be raised so high, so fast that thousands of jobs will be lost due to businesses not being able to afford. Businesses will drop health care for the government universal required coverage that will net lose coverage for many. Our enemies will exploit our unwillingness for conflict and more international events will occur that we will just stand-by and watch as Clinton did initially in Bosnia. The military will be underfunded and disrespected. Minorities will feel even more entitled than they are now. Govt will act as the parent for the “children” of the electorate. Democratic Socialism will further stiffle entrepenuerism and take money away from job producing small businesses. So all of us should go out and buy some guns while you can, sell your business before the Obama wealth distribution starts, buy some good ground and hunker down for the race conflicts that will be fanned by the social agenda of the Democrats.

dalepetrie's avatar

I gave lurve to everyone who answered (though I disagree strongly with some of the opinions expressed), for answering the question honestly, and openly. Thank you.

jasongarrett's avatar

I have a dollar that says nobody can do a worse job articulating the conservative position than kelly just did.

poofandmook's avatar

@jason: I have another one.

augustlan's avatar

@Kelly: Really? Wow.

jsc3791's avatar


I have no words…. Really?!

dalepetrie's avatar


Perhaps part of the problem is that Republicans don’t seem to have a consistent position these days, they seem split between those who are socially conservative and economically moderate, economically conservative and socially moderate, and socially & economically conservative, whereas those who are moderate on both social and economic issues are too alienated by the hard right conservatism on one or the other issue (or both) to vote for the Republican ticket. So, the Republican party needs to decide on where it wants to be conservative, where it wants to be moderate and how far it wants to reach in any given direction.

As for Kelly’s position, definitely seems hysterical and based more in fear and prejudice than in facts, but everyone is entitled to their opinions, and as for articulating the conservative position, to play Devil’s Advocate, I’d suggest that Kelly is articulating Kelly’s position, and the position of people who call themselves conservatives and align themselves with the Republican party, which is completely out of what with what other people who also self-identify as conservatives think. Which is why conservatism lost out in the last 2 election cycles, in my opinion.

Snoopy's avatar

Please see some answers to a similar question here:

In short, I wanted the historic McCain, not the guy we have seen of late. So….I didn’t have warm fuzzies for either candidate.

It is what it is….I have no strong feelings either way. I hope for the best.

I am a registered Republican. There are things that I believe that are strongly conservative and just as many that are strongly liberal. Rarely does a candidate hit all my targets.

I hope that Obama walks on water like some seem to think he can….it really bugs me that people hang so much on the fact that he is black. I don’t care what color he is….I just want him to do a good job.

I have always wanted all sides of all parties to work together to make our country better. No party is blameless in that regard.

mamasu's avatar

@Dale, I think you are correct in much of what you say about the divisions of the Republican Party. I disagree that Kelly’s opinion is that of the larger portion of the Republican party. The most vocal, perhaps, but not the larger portion. While I know a few who would agree with Kelly’s post, and they are the ones who grabbed at any straw to discredit Obama and the process, most would cringe as I do when reading it.

Unfortunately, until the Republican Party gets back to being a political party, which means losing the shackles that the Religious Right holds over it, we will continue to be divided. That bothers me nearly as much as a Democrat majority in Congress. ;~)

dalepetrie's avatar

mamasu, I think you misunderstood my point, and that’s my fault. Let me rephrase a portion of that…

What I said was, “I’d suggest that Kelly is articulating Kelly’s position, and the position of people who call themselves conservatives and align themselves with the Republican party, which is completely out of what with what other people who also self-identify as conservatives think.”

What I meant to say was, “I’d suggest that Kelly is articulating Kelly’s position, and the positions of SIMILAR MINDED people who call themselves conservatives and align themselves with the Republican party, even though their positions are out of WHACK with the positions of others who also self identify as conservatives and align themselves with the Republican Party.”

I think the way I phrased it implied that I was saying that this opinoin is that of the larger portion of the Republican Party, but what I was really saying is, it is one healthy component out of 3 divergent components, which is why it tore itself apart this time around.

I completely agree with everything else you were saying (though having a Democratic majority in Congress doesn’t bother me, but I’m a liberal).

And to briefly address Snoopy’s post, I had seen that other question, but I wanted to ask this anyway, because we all know that if you asked an Obama supporter before the election what they’d do if Obama lost, they might well say something dismissive like “I’m moving to Canada,” just like many liberals did when Bush “won” in 2000 and 2004, but very few who said it actually did it. I think in the aftermath of a McCain loss and a President Elect Obama, I’m apt to get more thoughtful answers from conservatives who need to either embrace, suffer through our outright reject this new reality.

wundayatta's avatar

Do you make your choices based on “what’s in this for me?” I.e., is it purely a financial thing—who reduces your taxes the most?

Is there any sense that the nation is in deep trouble and we need to work together, and some of us, the more fortunate, perhaps, need to chip in more than the others?

Any sense that bottom line thinking for this quarter can lead to really big problems a few years away? Is there any long term thinking suggesting that investment in social infrastructure now will result in a huge payoff later?

poofandmook's avatar

@daloon: I think that’s the case all too often. I can’t stand to hear people who make triple digits complaining about this. I’m sorry… but I’m supposed to sympathize that you can’t keep your huge house, while I’m struggling to pay for the apartment I’m renting? Psh. Buuuuut that’s not a concern of mine at the moment, as you know, Obama was elected and all. And so, I digress.

mamasu's avatar

@Dale, thank you for clarifying. My misunderstanding. ;~)

boxing's avatar

Dale, the Republican party is not more divided than the Democratic party, if you swap the word “conservative” with “liberal”, you get the same thing. It just seems that Republicans need to do some soul searching now that they lost. Go back to 2000 and 2004 Democrats were thinking the same thing.

McCain’s loss has quite a few factors, and none bigger than the timing of economic melt down, on top of the drag from Bush and possibly Palin.

Both parties have different shades. I could have easily registerred myself as independent, but I chose Republican at the end, to make sure my own tiny vote is more signicant in a major party, or at least it feels that way. And I just hope there are enough people like me in the Republican party.

Am I conservative? I will say yes. But sometimes I think common sense has more influence on me than the conservative principles.

I am not religious (pure atheist as you might have known), but I would appreciate some social conservatism.

On the economy, I have my bias since I CAME from a socialist country. Hence I do not like any direction towards socialism, no matter how small that step is. And both candidates did not say much about cutting government spending. For me, this is possibly the most important issue.

I had said in numerous times, the Obama presidency does not worry me much at all. All those fears are mostly exaggerated.

Some are based on what Obama had said and done in the past, but I do think that a person will have different perspectives and do things differently once he or she is in a higher office with greater influence, and surrounded by policy advisors.

Remember, this country does not depend on one person. We depend on a system.

Economy has ups and downs. Our economy depends too much on consumer spending, and Americans over-spend across the board, say, taking out a mortgage that would consume more than half of their income, and running up thousands in credit card balance. Americans have very low rate of savings.

Without saving, people have no cushion for any economic downturn. Overspending also drives up inflation and creates dangerously high level of supply.

If Americans can spend and save wisely, the cycle is still inevitable, but at least each downturn will not be as scary, and people can get by easily. Of course, growth will not be dramatic without high level of spending, but it is a healthier one, and things average out.

I actually believe Obama’s tax cut plan will provide much needed short term relief for 80% of the folks, and also provide a bigger short-term effect on the economy. Given the situation, this might be necessary. But this is exactly the same problem American economy and Americans have: short-sightedness.

And if I had my way, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae should have been erased from this planet. They spread the risk, and every person and banks are thinking that the government is behind them anyway. But like a huge dam without release, eventually we know what happened. Without them, banks will think twice about lending to someone with marginal credit.

To repeat what I said before, Obama might well be one of the luckiest president in history. The worst of the downturn would be over by the time he can have his own impact, and by this time next year, the economy will get back on its own feet for sure.

There are still many things I want to say, but this is getting too long, and I am ususally not like this…

fireside's avatar

I don’t know about the luckiest President ever just based on the economic position.
Clinton inherited a pretty nice upswing as well.

The difference a President makes in the economy is his ability to understand those ups and downs and to build a team that can handle the complex challenges that arise.

How the country reacts to the signs of the next pending bubble will set the course for whether we just forget that this crisis happened and go back to business as usual or whether we make a choice to build a more stable system that can support a growing economy in a global society.

laureth's avatar

@kelly: You say, “Minorities will feel even more entitled than they are now.”

Do you mean, especially, the minority group of white college educated male small business investors?

(Not trying to provoke a fight, just pointing out that everyone feels some entitlement.)

critter1982's avatar

@Dale: I think unfamiliar territory always breeds a little bit of fear. The US economy is in one of the worst downward spirals that it has seen in a long time and we have an unexperienced President building a hopefully experienced team to solve the issues.

My main concern is that he follows through with some of the things that he has promised. It worries me that he campaigned as more of a centrist than his record would lead one to believe. One thing I have seen from the democratic party regarding Obama, is that the expectations for him are INCREDIBLY high. It’s going to be difficult for him to succeed, but I honestly do wish him the best and I hope he can turn our economy around.

chutterhanban's avatar

@ laureth: the difference is that it’s hard enough right now for small business owners. it’s going to get much harder. the other side will most likely be getting easier.

i know that didn’t sound very scholarly, but i just woke up, k? lol

kelly's avatar

Great dialogue. Many posts have me rethinking my fears of the Demo controlled House, Senate and Exec. We all need to make a list of where we are today, stock market, 401K, joblessness, military strength, deaths in military, foreclosures, health insurance, immigration, etc so that a year from now, 3 years from now, we will have a way to measure and remember the promises made to get the Demo votes.

augustlan's avatar

@kelly: I’m glad to see that you are open to rethinking your initial reactions. That gives me an enormous amount of hope that we can all work together.

jholler's avatar

Honestly, the only thing that sincerely worries me is his position on personal firearms ownership and RKBA. Not his stated positions during the campaign, I discount pretty much anything a politician says while trying to get elected. I’m talking about his history, and his closeness with and large support from George Soros. As a gun owner, avid shooter, and uncompromising supporter of every individual right guaranteed by the bill of rights, this worries me.

dalepetrie's avatar

jholler – lurve for you as with everyone who expresses their opinion. FYI, Obama said in no uncertain terms he agreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the 2nd Amendment (which clarified that an individual has a right to bear arms…not just within the confines of a militia). Essentially the only gun control measure Obama has spoken out in favor of is renewing the ban on assault weapons (i.e. the kind you’re more apt to shoot up a bank with than you are in hunting for deer) that existed under Clinton and was repealed under Bush. Obama will NOT, I repeat NOT take away your guns…in fact even though the NRA endorsed McCain and made it sound like Obama would take away your guns, he was endorsed by another pro gun group whose name escapes me at this point.

But most persuasive are his words, “I believe in the Second Amendment,” he declared. “I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.” So to say he has not stated his positions in the campaign is factually inaccurate. You may say he’s lying, time will tell, but I have no reason to doubt him. In fact I as an extremely left leaning liberal have no problem with gun ownership. I don’t like guns whose only purpose is violence, but hunting, shooting, collecting, self defense, etc. I don’t have a problem with. That said, I personally do not have a gun in my home, simply because I think we have a culture of fear which makes us feel we need guns for self defense, but the numbers point to the fact that if you have a handgun in your house for self defense, it’s 26 TIMES more likely that someone your house will be killed by that gun than at the hand of an intruder. But I don’t think liberals really want to take away your rights to make yourself feel more safe while actually making yourself less safe…liberals are by and large about letting people make their own personal decisions.

breedmitch's avatar

@dale: Because you’re much better versed in this than I, could you address kelly’s fears about Obama being bad for small business owners (health insurance, etc.)?

dalepetrie's avatar

Sure. Basically, I don’t know what Kelly’s small business’ tax bracket is, but I know that taxes are collected on your profits (if your business is incorporated) or on your income, i.e. what you personally pull out of the business if it’s an LLC. I also know that for 95% of all small businesses, these profits don’t cross the 250k/year threshold. Technically, if Kelly’s business is allowing him to pull $250k a year out, it’s probably not a SMALL business. And if he pulls less than $200k out of his business each year, his taxes will go down. But don’t take my word for it, or Obama’s…look at this calculator comparing the two former candidates’ tax plans to see how much you’ll actually save, this is a non partisan site by the way:

Second, realize that what Obama is saying he wants to do is to roll back the Bush tax cuts for those in the top 1% of wage earners in the population. And before you cry for those who will actually be affected, realize that those making over $200k broke for Obama by a significant margin. Essentially however, McCain confused people into thinking that Obama wanted to tax you more if you worked harder and would keep you from getting ahead. But look at how well the economy did even for the highest wage earners under the Clinton administration…and basically we’re talking about bringing the tax rate from 36% to 39.6% on the income you make OVER AND ABOVE $250k. It’s not going to HURT anyone, it’s not going to disincentivise hard work and most of those who are affected actually seem to feel like they should contribute more in these hard times.

As for universal health care, first of all, what Obama is proposing is not exactly universal…certainly not single payer. It is still market based insurance, biggest difference would be that if you lose your job you won’t fall through the cracks…you will be able to buy insurance through the government. His plan will emphasize preventive medicine to bring down insurance rates for everyone, including small business, and he will provide tax credits to the small businesses to help them afford the insurance they’re already buying. Indeed, even if a small business does have to give up their plan (which no one should have to do under what Obama is proposing), the people affected will have access to health care that doesn’t deny them coverage for pre-existing conditions, or charge them rates no one could possibly afford.

Again, don’t believe me, believe the 80%+ of all economists who say Obama’s plan is sound and does provide insurance to anyone and everyone who wants it, saves small businesses money and makes it easier for small businesses to succeed than what we have now. Beyond that, I can’t say anything, for some they’ll just have to see for themselves.

augustlan's avatar

Swooning at Dale’s knowledge and ability to share it.

breedmitch's avatar

Thank you, dalepetrie.

Bri_L's avatar

I am curious.

First, those of you who answered, thank you very much.

I was wondering if anyone thinks now might be a possible time for a political “reboot” of sorts?

augustlan's avatar

Oh, Bri, I hope so! Not just for the Republican party, but for the whole damn system.

dalepetrie's avatar


I think that’s what this election was about to be completely honest. If Obama is the man he says he is, and I have no reason to believe he is not, he is the type of person who will sit in a room with people of all viewpoints and try to come to a compromise that everyone is happy with. From all accounts, everyone who’s ever worked with him seems to think that he showed empathy for their opinions, even when he didn’t share them. That is what I think is the reboot we need, from the my way or the highway government of the past to, let’s work to get this done. If he does what I think he’ll do, I think he’ll be the kind of guy they’re putting on the face of money some day.

jholler's avatar

dale, I’m willing to give him a chance to show he’s changed his mind, but like I said, I’m looking at his history, not rhetoric. In ‘04, Obama voted 4 times in 4 different incarnations against Illinois SB 2165, which passed over his votes as well as the governors veto. The bill was to protect homeowners from prosecution for using a firearm in self defense in their own home. Things like this and his support for Sen Kennedy’s bill outlawing ammunition as “armor piercing” based on it’s velocity rather than it’s metallurgy, which would have effectively outlawed nearly all centerfire hunting ammunition. I understand and want to believe that he supports hunters’ rights, but the second amendment was not written with hunting in mind, it was written with an armed revolution against an oppressive government fresh in mind. The first thing a government that wants to control it’s people ( instead of the other way around) must do is disarm them. The 2nd Amendment is our safeguard against oppressive government, not a license to hunt ducks.

dalepetrie's avatar

Fair enough, like I said, time will tell. I would state, and suspect you would agree, that it’s far more telling why he voted the way he did than THAT he voted the way he did, as we all know that legislatures have a nasty habit of tacking on language that makes an otherwise good bill unpalatable, or of changing the wording in such a way that it looks on the surface like it’s supporting one thing, but digging deeper you can see a contrarian intent.

Fancymouse's avatar

I love Obama Obamo 08/09

mamabeverley's avatar

I am an independent. Not repub. not a dem. I am in Tn and am so over the whole balck/not American thing. They are still beating that top death here. I liked McCain until Palin. That was a total play to try to get disgruntled women voters (me). All of that hoopla about Obama not having experience, then they pick PALIN!

I think we need to chuck all the politicians and start over. They are all corrupt or pushing their own agenda. Not the peoples agenda which is what they are supposed to be there for.

ubersiren's avatar

I want to cry, actually. Another President in office who says he won’t allow gay marriage because his religion forbids it. Another pro-bail out President. Another secretive President (even though he claims not). Another President in favor of wiretapping (and now spying on our businesses for any reason he sees fit). Another President who has no end for the war in Iraq in sight. Changing the names of the operations in the war doesn’t change the war. I fucking hate it.

“No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it” ~Thomas Jefferson.

mamabeverley's avatar

@ubersiren Maybe we need a woman then!

ubersiren's avatar

@mamabeverley : Hahaha! Yeah, there we go!

mamabeverley's avatar

@ubersiren I could Whip this country into shape in no time! Of course, it would be a magnanamous dictatorship and not a democracy but hey… what do you expect!! ;0}

justwannaknow's avatar

Only for the fact that people were more excited about having the first BLACK president. Race should never have been brought into the equation. He should have been allowed to run on his merits only, not the color of his skin. And he is only half black, remember his mother is white so all he is, is an AMERICAN!!

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@ubersiren – While I sympathize with your feelings and those of the LGB community on the gay marriage issue, but Obama HAS set a date for closing the Iraq conflict. Our exit from Iraq may or may not go as smoothly as everyone hopes it will, but it is one of the many goals of his administration.

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