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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Loyal Opposition

Loyal opposition is “the concept that one can be opposed to the actions of the government or ruling party of the day without being opposed to the constitution of the political system.”

Since working the polls on November 4 I have been thinking a lot about the election and its outcome. To say it was historic is clearly an understatement. The United States of America has elected its first black president. I am both enthralled by this turn of political events, and dismayed at the same time. I will explain this later.

I wish to establish a particular point before going any further: On January 20, 2009, President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. On that day he will be my president, the president of all Americans. To state otherwise flies in the face of the founding fathers who crafted our system of government. They knew what it was to live under the crushing weight of a monarchy (the King of England). They determined never to allow Colonists/Americans to be subjected to such tyranny again. Thus they established what can only be described as a form of government that is truly genius. The seat of government was set up in order to establish a balance of powers. This is where we get the three branches of government: The Executive Branch (The Presidency), the Legislative Branch (Congress – makes laws), and the Judicial Branch (The Supreme Court – interprets laws). Even when one party has control of all three branches, not to worry! They still can’t get along!

The next part of the genius of our founding fathers is the establishment of the election system. Even though there were only the original thirteen colonies which became the first thirteen states, the people were given the power of the ballot box. We were empowered to select the person we wanted to lead the country through “one person, one vote.” To prevent this means of voting from becoming simply a popularity contest, the Electoral College was created to give every area of the country a voice in the election of our president and vice-president. This system still works as well today with fifty states (and a few U.S. territories) as it did in the late 1700s.

What all this means is that every four years we the people have the opportunity, right, and privilege to cast a vote for the leader of our country. So even when you watch your choice for president lose, it isn’t the end of the world! Remember: monarchs, tyrants, despots and the like always rule for life. The people do not have a choice.



I mentioned earlier that I’m enthralled with the selection of Barack Obama as our next president because of its historic import. Even though I have personally believed the United States has been ready to elect a person of color, or a woman, to the presidency for quite some time, I wasn’t sure if I would ever see it happen. Conversely, I am dismayed because Barack Obama holds to political positions that I am, in many instances, diametrically opposed to for moral, theological, philosophical and ethical reasons. Case in point: President-elect Obama is in favor of a woman selecting abortion as late as the third trimester, something that even Roe v Wade does not permit. Further, he was in favor of allowing a baby to die that had survived a botched abortion. This is unconscionable!

Referring to the definition for the Loyal Opposition at the start of this article, I am now a full-blown member of that loyal opposition. That is to say, I want President-elect Obama to succeed as our president. That’s the loyalty part. I will be praying for him and his administration for the next four years. However, where I believe he is wrong, I will work through our political system to try and encourage him to change his mind. This is the opposition part. When he takes what I believe to be the correct course of action, I will applaud him and his efforts. When he moves in a direction that I believe is detrimental to our nations interests, I will say so.


Historically, the loyal opposition has been the political party that is no longer in power, often referred to as the minority party. That would be the Republican Party beginning January 20.

But regardless of who is president, I love my country and its form of governance, and will defend it as long as I am able. I will also call it to account when it oversteps its bounds. I believe that is what the founding fathers intended.

God bless America!

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