Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Don't know much about history

Today, it's time to drop a pretense. It'll probably only be dropped for today, so tomorrow, things should be back to normal. And it is all in light of what happened yesterday. For the first time, in the couple of years of this blogs existence, it seems important to speak personally, without the conceit of their being multiple people writing it. It's just me, and, for today, that's enough.

So, last night, as the world as a whole knows, the American people elected a new President. During the campaign, I've tried to point out foibles and mistakes by both sides, but, throughout it all, it was hard to deny that we were approaching a historic moment. Either way, America was going to see it's first "minority" (and I'm using the term somewhat loosely) in one of the highest seats in the land. In the red corner, we had Sarah Palin, almost assuredly unqualified, but still the first woman with a real shot at becoming VP (and, let's face it, with McCain's health issues, President). In the blue corner, the first legitimate African American candidate for President, Barack Obama.

Now, everyone knows what the outcome of the election was. And, honestly, everyone knew what that outcome was going to be for quite some time. That doesn't detract for the history that was made. It doesn't change the fact that, for America, for one election at least color and gender were no longer barriers to leading the country. Yesterday's election is something we can leave for the children, as something positive to move forward.

Now, do I believe that the Messiah was elected POTUS last night? No. After all, Jesus never really wanted the job he got, and it became abundantly clear over the last year or so that Obama desperately did. While he may be coming from a place of hope and change, and wanting to fix what's wrong, he still wanted the power. And he's got a long road ahead of him. For proof of that, just look at how he fared in the South.

Also, do I believe that the country would be destined for absolute destruction had McCain/Palin won the election? Again, no. While the President does have a lot of power, no one person can cause either total collapse or complete recovery, even if GDub seemed to try. In fact, it may even have been more beneficial for the GOP to win, providing some semblance of a balance of power. After all, while John McCain has often sided with GDub, and Sarah Palin made it clear in interviews that she sided with whoever would get her more spotlight time, McCain is also known for reaching across the aisle and working on compromise. Hopefully Obama will take that same spirit.

One thing that I honestly hope we don't pass to future generations is the negativity that we all had to deal with during the campaign. Far too often, instead of the candidates explaining what they would do to help the people, they spent time pointing out what their opponent would do to hurt the people. Unfortunately, it does feel like we're only at the tip of the iceberg for that type of campaigning.

Either way, and putting personal politics aside, last night was a historic moment. For the first time in history, a black man and a woman squared off for the White House with legitimate chances to take office. Somewhere, a barrier fell, and a glass ceiling shattered. For Obama and Palin to both be on the precipice of history was a tremendous moment, and one that could (and possibly should) define a generation.

And now it's time to put down the pitchforks, the attacks, and the slanders, and get to the business of governing. It's time to take a historical moment and take advantage of the opportunity provided. It's time to lead, whether you won or lost the election.

The time is now. Don't screw it up.

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