Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Barack Obama is now the president-elect, proving the system works.
I've read posts from conservative bloggers dismissive about last night's election results. They claim the voters were duped, that Obama squeaked by and that he doesn't have a mandate.
To which I say to them:
What fucking election were you watching?
Because not only did Obama clearly have a mandate last night, garnering 52 percent (62,419,768) to McCain's 47 percent (55,363,122), but he captured 349 electoral votes compared to McCain's 163 with 26 electoral votes remaining as of this morning. Obama won Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Iowa, and Indiana - states that were heavily contested. Voter turnout was the highest in this nation's history. This was a watershed election; one with great significance to many Americans.
For Democrats, it was the Super Bowl and World Series and Olympics rolled into one. Not only did they capture the presidency, but the House and Senate, with 252 in the House and 56 in the Senate, giving them a clear majority.
Now I know this might make many Republicans bristle, but change was needed.
The American people, after eight years of muddled policies and indifference from the Bush administration chose someone so out of the mainstream, so unlikely to be president, that Hollywood screenwriters couldn't have dreamed this plot up.
And that's what makes America great. We can finally be proud and say that it doesn't matter the color of your skin or family background, but if you work hard and persevere, that you can do anything in America.
Four years ago Democrats were slitting their wrists and reaching for the sleeping pills. Last night was a vindication of their hard work in re-energizing their party and reaching out to independents and conservatives.
It's an end of the politics of old and stated, of cunning sophistry and mired partisan inaction. Last night the voters spoke clearly and loudly that they didn't want the same policies.
Is it a risk? Is America gambling with its future?
Yeah, but that's the great thing about the American people - they'll surprise you. If change is needed, they'll risk everything and work for it, and labor to make their country better. They know it's time for America to mutate and evolve.
Last night was also a bittersweet moment for American blacks. There was much invoking of MLK, of the struggles and inequality blacks faced in this country. Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey openly cried in that Chicago crowd, which consisted of people of all races - together - cheering for Obama. And you know what? I teared up, too. I got a tad emotional because here we were, in the early 21st century and a black man was elected president of the United States with a clear majority. For months I skeptically thought Americans were closeted racists, that the disparity between black and whites in this country was a gulf as wide as the Grand Canyon, that there's no way Obama could win. How happy I was to be proven wrong. What a hopeful revelation that is, that the voters transcended race and background and put Obama over the top.
The nasty sniping of the McCain campaign, the choice of Sarah Palin as veep and the rudderless direction of the Republican Party contributed to McCain's downfall. Now their grumbling is all sour grapes. The racist threats, the pronouncements of Obama's middle name, the doomsday scenarios that he's a socialist all now are static in the background, mere discontent from the groundlings.
Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. Like Rosa Parks, MLK and others that have gone before him, he's a pioneer. He's an inspiration. Americans made history, not just electing a black man president, but by electing such an inclusive and unifying person to lead us for the next four years. It's an immense responsibility, but we're given the right leaders at the right time for a reason.
Now it's Barack Obama's time.
It's his mandate.
And in America, things just got a lot brighter.