My liberal friends have been hard to live with for years: calling George W. Bush things like “the chimp.” We conservatives are a little more restrained and sane. My father used to say, “The Republic will survive.” And so it is with me and my friend William Kristol…
Barack Obama will probably win the 2008 presidential election. If he does, we conservatives will greet the news with our usual resolute stoicism or cheerful fatalism. Being conservative means never being too surprised by disappointment.
But what if John McCain pulls off an upset?
I’m worried about my compatriots on the left. Michael Powell reports in The New York Times that even the possibility of an Obama defeat has driven many liberals into in a state of high anxiety.
And then there’s a young woman from Denver who “told her boyfriend that their love life was on hold while she sweated out Mr. Obama’s performance in Colorado.” Well, what if Obama loses Colorado? Or the presidency?
As a compassionate conservative, I’m concerned about the well-being of that boyfriend – and of others who might be similarly situated. I feel an obligation to help.
So let me tell liberals why they should be cheerful if McCain happens to win.
1. It would be a victory for an underdog. Liberals are supposed to like underdogs. McCain is a lonely guy standing up against an unprecedentedly well-financed, superorganized, ExxonMobil-like Obama juggernaut. A McCain upset victory would be a classic liberal happy ending.
2. It would be a defeat for the establishment. Obama’s most recent high-profile Republican endorser was Washington insider Kenneth Duberstein. Liberals should be on the side of hard-working plumbers, not big-shot lobbyists – oops, sorry, big-shot strategic advisers and consultants. And Duberstein said that Colin Powell’s endorsement was “the Good Housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama.” Doesn’t that comment embody everything that liberals (and many conservatives, including me) find creepy about smug establishment back-scratching and gatekeeping in America?
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