Thursday, November 6, 2008

What goes up...

I remain staggered at the accomplishments of the citizens of this fine nation that came together to elect a different kind of man than we've done previously. Indeed, a man whose ethnicity would have kept him from eating a meal in the same restaurant as white America just a scant 50 years ago. What an amazing amount of change has had to occur in the institutions and hearts of the country for this to be so in just a generation or two....

I am, however, much less adrenaline-fueled today. Mr. Obama has a big challenge in front of him and I'm quietly eager to see how he will staff his Administration.

The historic outcome of the election has prompted many, notably Jason, to engage in political discussion and contemplation on his blog for the first time ever. And done well, it was..."yes, he did!" Like others, Jason is right on target in reflecting on the late night events of this first Tuesday evening of November, 2008.

In the beginning of this campaign---a looooong time ago, Sen. John McCain presented himself as a candidate more centrist than the name on the ballot became. He was a candidate I could have received with relief and some hope for change after the disaster of GWB's Presidency. Tuesday night, stunning me with his relatively early concession, Sen. McCain once again demonstrated the true depth of his character and his enormous commitment to the United States. His was a concession speech like no other: more grace, more wisdom, more sincere support of the victor than I've ever seen. There was nothing snide, nothing belittling and he tolerated NONE of those behaviors from the crowd gathered before him. Both candidates made exquisite speeches but in the end, McCain's may have been the better of the two. It was AMAZING.

What I wish for Sen. McCain is a restful, happy retirement with his family. He has served us long and hard and more than earned time with his family to enjoy all of this Country's blessings. Since he plans to go back to work, I'll instead look forward to his ability to "work across the aisle" and challenge convention. He remains a fine statesman and a hero.

Yesterday morning, Colin Powell sat for an interview with CNN. His sincerity, his grace, his eloquence were the sprinkles on the cupcake. If you haven't already seen it, please do watch.

Mr. Powell says something that I haven't heard from anywhere else that is so true --our founding fathers intended for the election process to be contentious; for there to be "clashing" of ideas and indeed we did this year. The fact is, it is the middle that keeps America on track. That middle absolutely requires the extremes of right and left to create the ideology for ourselves collectively as we grow into the future. I sit firmly on the left, others I love way the heck over there on the right. From those ideologies, we emerge with the victories in Pennsylvannia, Florida, Virginia, Ohio---narrow, but conclusive and decisive. Middle America said we've gone off course and its time to steer back a bit. I am relieved today that middle America, as shown by Jason's remarks, is ready to put the differences aside and allow this Administration to make some repairs, build bridges---between ideologies and into the future.


Lyman said...

I'm proud of this country and proud to be American. But not because of the reason many others have been expressing the same sort of patriotic pride. It is amazing that a black man (actually, he's multi-racial) is president and that so many children will grow up in a world where the white house sees no color. But that's not what fills me with the most pride.

I'm proud because the people have taken the democratic process back. Record numbers of voters turned out and Obama won in a landslide. People were not happy with the direction of leadership in this country and they did something about it. There was a lack of apathy and a lack of disillusionment. We are patriots not because we love our gov't, we are patriots because we love our country. The gov't serves the people and the people have spoken.

Fantastic interview btw.

Don said...

While I still have my doubts, if nothing else positive comes out of his term(s), Obama should serves as a sign to all, and particularly young black men, that if they study and work hard, nothing can keep them from succeeding. In that regard he is a strong positive role model.

Special K said...

McCain is such a moron. Imagine if he had been half that gracious throughout his campaign! Another shocking difference is how rude his supporters were vs. how respectful the group in Grant Park was listening to his speech.