An acquaintance with whom I’d sparred vehemently during the latter days of the political race sent me a
message this morning, in the aftermath of the Obama landslide.
“Enjoy the moment. :)”
I really didn’t know how to take this because despite the heat of our exchanges and the polar disagreements we engaged in, it could have been entirely genuine. But just saying that without any qualification or explanation left a big question mark for me. He had also recently become a citizen, and this was his first presidential vote.
I tried to respond in a way that acknowledged what I hoped was a genuine well-wishing that also honestly expressed my feelings in the aftermath.
Thanks, ___. I did.
Our country took a giant leap into the 21st Century, electing a young African American candidate in a landslide that dwarfs anything his predecessor even approached. In addition to millions of new voters, Independents and Republicans crossed over to make that happen.
The moment is over.
Now the work begins to dig us out of the bottomless pit that eight years of George Bush’s policies has dug us into. I can tell you that I am NOT better off today than I was four years ago, and a helluva lot worse off than I was eight years ago. If you’re not worse off, then God bless you, because you’re in the minority. Obama has an unbelievable task before him, and I think we all need to pray that he’s up to it.
Congratulations on your citizenship and on your vote. We can either all row in the same direction and get through this horrid rough patch, or we can continue pulling in different directions and break up the boat.
I enjoyed the moment. The work awaits.
I prefer to think that my acquaintance was sincere, and that he realizes what we all have at stake. Because if Obama fails, we all fail. And we’ll be taking a lot of other people who didn’t have the power of a vote in the US Presidentail campaign with us. That is precisely what has happened under George Bush, and is both the threat and the promise when any American is elected president.
I just hope that my vote was well cast, and that we can all look back in eight years and say we’re living in a safer, more peaceful and more prosperous world, where the US economy is healthy again and part of a rejuvenated global economy. A time when the money we send overseas won’t be for oil and war, but to help lift up others and to spread the OPTION of demoncracy.
Sadly, I don’t think that all the cultures and countries of this world will ever embrace democracy; but if we can lead by example and provide an illustration of what a regulated capitalistic system operating in a free and democratic framework can achieve, we’ll have done what we needed to do.
You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I’ll be interested to see if my acquaintance is willing to drink from the real waters of democracy, where we don’t always get what we want, but where generally, we get what we need. In this election, the needs were great, and the will of a clear majority was expressed.
Obama not only won the electoral vote, he won the popular vote. He is the choice of Americans representing all races, creeds, colors, religions, ethnic origins and socio-economic status. I hope those who disagreed with the outcome will, nonetheless, support the man elected to the highest office in the world. The future of the nation and possibly the world hangs in the balance.
May the Higher Power of your choice bless Barack Obama and guide his decisions. Although the affairs of men are of little note in the great scheme of the Universe, they’re pretty damned important to me.