By Phil Fraietta
First and foremost let me state that what happened on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 20th was a truly historic event and one that Americans of all different political beliefs should at least appreciate the history in. But, with that said, it is now time to move past the history of the inauguration and into the Presidency of Barack Obama.
It is my belief that we as conservatives have gotten “soft” for a lack of a better term. We just endured eight years of the largest expansion of the Federal Government since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and many of us still refuse to speak critically of President Bush. Now yes, it is true that President Bush kept our nation attack-free after 9/11, and did some very honorable things with respect to AIDS in Africa. But, all in all, his entire Presidency was a complete and utter failure as well as an abandonment of conservatism.
I address this refusal to criticize President Bush because I fear some fellow conservatives may give the same treatment to President Obama. We must not be afraid to play insult to history. Meaning that just because President Obama is the first African-American President does not mean we should be afraid to evaluate and critique every decision he makes as President.
We must remember what the Civil Rights Movement was intended to achieve. The goal of the Civil Rights Movement, as stated by Martin Luther King Jr., was to “one day live in a nation where [a man] will not be judged by the color of [his] skin but by the content of [his] character.” I believe the election of President Obama does not signify that we have reached this day, but rather it will be when we are able to applaud or criticize his decisions without second-guessing ourselves for fear of being called racist that we will have reached this day.
In conclusion, while the election of President Obama will always be a truly historical event, it is time we stop looking out of a historical lens and resume looking into a political lens. We owe it to ourselves as conservatives; we owe it to this great nation and her citizens; we owe it to the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, who fought so hard for racial equality, to evaluate every last decision made by President Obama without using race as a factor and to voice our opposition to every last decision that opposes the principles of conservatism.