Well...the election is finally over and I can say unequivocally that I am very proud to be a citizen of this incredible experiment called Democracy. I am NOT a Red American or a Blue American but an American! Once again, we have proved that we are one of the few countries that can witness the peaceful exchange of power in spite of all the rhetoric, impassioned argument and yes even the mud-slinging. I have not spoken out much and this will be my only political post but I was very impressed by what I saw last night.
Watching John McCain speak, I was impressed by his complete calm and straight forward talk about the campaign and election.His no nonsense quelling of the initial boos during his speech was an indication of his will to take his defeat with dignity and class that has rarely been seen in recent years from ANY politician on either side of political thinking. He spoke about coming together as a nation and made it clear that he wasn't undermining Obama's chances to lead. He was so articulate regarding his praise and concession but most of all his insistence that as Americans, we WORK TOGETHER to overcome the challenges that face us ALL, "Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt, many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him tonight that I will do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face,"I urge all Americans who supported me to join not only in congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and honest effort to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences." John McCain proved to our country and the world that he is a man of honor and self respect and that he values his love of our country and his service to our way of living above all else.
President Elect Obama's speech was more sober than I would have first imagined but as has been the case all along, his words, though eloquent, were grounded in the reality of the enormous hardships and challenges that we as a nation face together. "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president too. "This is our time to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can." I tend to be a skeptic at times but Obama seems to be just as much a patriot acs McCain. His statements are admirable sentiments and in the future we will learn if they can be turned into reality with the involvement of all of us as a nation.
Today is Wednesday, November 5th 2008 and it's great to be an American. I did not get everything I wanted out of this election (no one ever does) but I am proud to be a part of a political system that allows us to disagree (sometimes vehemently) and still move forward TOGETHER. It's now about 7:50am here in Texas and I am headed out for a morning run. After that, I am going to work because we have a lot to do ahead of us and it's time to get cracking. We will have to wait and see where this will take us all but again, I am still amazed at the way our great nation works and have to agree with the words of Tim Russert, "What a country!"