We Have a New President
Sharing in hope.


Does the victory of the Left in 2008 mean that President Obama will try to make the United States more like a Euro-socialist nation? All the signs he has given us of where his heart really lies suggest that he will try to do that, within some rather severe limits. In particular, he will surely try to rush through a program of U.S. government-run and -managed health care. But under President Clinton, Hillary Clinton came to grief trying to do that.

The United States is a large nation, with an extraordinarily diverse range of populations, regions, climates, and cultural habits. Imagine trying to run one single continental health-care system that embraces Germany and Portugal, Scandinavia and Greece, and Albania through Belgium. That image suggests how difficult it will be to run one single health-care system from Washington, from Maine and Florida out through Alaska and Arizona, and everything in between. The United States is more culturally unified than Europe. But it is far from uniformly so.

Besides, Americans do not much respect the government-run programs that are now in place. Rather than rely on the inefficient Post Office, for important matters Americans prefer to pay a little more for the reliability, good manners, and good spirit of private carriers such as FedEx and United Parcel Service. Service is so much better and more cheerful in the business sector than in the government sector.

One thing that President Obama appears to have achieved, however, is to have broken through the near-stalemate of the last 20 years, in which “red” states (Republican) and “blue” states (Democratic) seemed locked in perpetual opposition. Obama broke through and won several important “red” states for the new Democratic majority.

The two parts of his past and his future proposals that I deplore spring from the fact of his being the most extreme proponent of abortion in the U.S. Congress. Given the fact that 35 percent of all abortions in the United States are sought by African-American women, it is surprising that Senator Obama has been such a great defender of the institution of abortion, which since 1973 has taken the lives of more than 43 million infants in the womb. For many of us, abortion is an even more grievous abuse of power over others than slavery, and to argue for “choice” to abort another human being is no more morally plausible than to defend the right to choose to enslave another.

The second worrisome fact about candidate Obama is his promise to appoint left-wing, pro-abortion Supreme Court Justices. He may have as many as three Justices (of the total of nine) to appoint during his four-year term. Their influence would weigh on our nation for 20 or more years to come.

Yet now is not the time to rehearse the grave doubts about Obama that were part of the partisan battle of the last two years. Barack Obama is now the president-elect of all of us. Now is the time to praise the brilliant, audacious, and wonderfully surprising campaign that President-elect Obama conducted. He overcame many obstacles. He held up better under fire than many of us expected him to do. He deserves much praise.

– Michael Novak’s latest book is No One Sees God. His website is