No matter which way you voted, this has been such a pivotal election in history. Let me first say that I am proud of the way that both McCain and Obama have handled this. In Kenya, President MwaiKibaki declared a public holiday on Thursday in honor of Obama’s election victory. Across the globe, people stayed up all night or woke early to watch the results come in: “Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place,” South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, said in a letter of congratulations to Obama.
It’s not just the victory of Obama that the world is watching, but also the defeat of McCain. I was reading through some Yahoo News and found this quote:
Tendai Biti, an opposition leader in Zimbabwe, said Obama’s victory was inspiring and so was the concession by John McCain, whose fellow Republican George W. Bush will leave the White House on Jan. 20.
“If in Africa, incumbents would accept defeat and would graciously depart from the seat of power, this would be a different continent, and indeed Zimbabwe would be a different place,” said Biti, whose party is deadlocked in power-sharing talks with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.
How great, that even in this time of fierce competition, we have two great men that can honor and respect each other, and step away from the political jabs and one-up-manship to truly become a united country again. In watching Obama’s acceptance speech, and reading the transcript, it’s hard to pick out just one poignant line. His words spoke of respect and hope, and I believe his speech will be quoted throughout history.
One part I think we should pay attention to today: “Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.”
Let’s put away the accusations and doom and truly look at where we are today. It has saddened me to see relationships lost and people divided by hate in this presidential race. Leaders that at one point I respected have spoken to extremes–proclaiming their “expert” analysis of what will happen if Obama is elected. Well, it has happened, and it affects the whole world. I can’t begin to dictate what the next four years will bring. But I know what it won’t bring from me–it won’t be me bashing the decision made yesterday, or spending my time saying what won’t work. In my personal life, with my family, with my work, and with my hope for America, it is to truly embrace Obama’s motto: Yes, we can. Let’s move forward with love, let’s make a stand for the positive in our own lives–it will pour out to others. Regardless of where you stand on the political decisions made in the White House, you can influence the decisions made in your house. The change starts in each of you.
One last quote from Obama:
“This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. 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 doubt, 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. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.”