The mistake is made
Normally, in such situations, I try to find some silver lining to cite. In this case, there is none. This election result is an unmitigated disaster. Obama is grotesquely underqualified and inexperienced for the office to which he has just been elected. His foreign-policy naivete offers foreign tyrants the same kinds of temptations and opportunities as Jimmy Carter's, and in a world grown far more complex and dangerous than it was in 1976. The best one can hope for is that our country will not pay too high a price, in terms of life and national sovereignty, during his coming education in the realities of the world.
(And no, I will not join in the general round of national strutting about the fact that we have elected a black man as President. We are long, long past the point where there remained the slightest excuse for judging people by race. The fact that we managed to refrain from doing so in this case, in 2008, is neither surprising nor particularly grounds for self-congratulation.)
If I ever decide to involve myself in politics again at all, it will be unequivocally as a Republican. Obama's victory means that the cult of thuggery, classism, misogyny, and slime, which seized control of the Democratic party when it robbed Hillary Clinton of the nomination earlier this year, will now remain entrenched there for the foreseeable future. There is simply nothing left in the Democratic party for me any more. Even beyond the party, this election result will encourage and strengthen all the disgusting, loathsome elements which for months have rallied to smear and destroy Clinton and Palin in particular and opposition to Obama in general.
Make no mistake: our country survived Jimmy Carter, it survived George W. Bush, and it will survive Barack Obama. Who can know what 2012 will bring? But it daunts me to think of what we could have had -- in Clinton or McCain -- and then to contemplate the road we have chosen instead.