I know I should be a gracious winner. As gracious and incsive as Barack Obama was in his victory speech and as gracious as John McCain tried to be in is concession speech. I say “tried” because he still refused to stop the booing when he mentioned Obama’s win. McCain couldn’t muster up the decency to tell the crowd that booing is not acceptable.
But there is a part of me that needs to vent. I just need to say:
So long Hannity and O’Reilly and the rest of the knuckleheads at Fox. You make me sick and your team LOST. You are irrelevant.
So long to Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sarah Palin. Your talking points memos have no place in this world except maybe to line bird cages. You are both irrelevant.
And to the blow hard, politically abusive Rush Limbaugh, your tactics didn’t work, your lies didn’t work, you are irrelevant.
To people like Mary Matalin, Mitt Romney, Rudy “9/11” Giuliani, and Tucker Bounds, it’s time for you to just SHUT UP and I would prefer also that you GO AWAY. You are irrelevant.
And especially to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney whom I believe should rot in hell for the crimes they have committed against the American people and against the U.S. Constitution; you and your cronies are irrelevant.
All of the people mentioned above will pay the price. Looking back, these people could not think of one nice thing to say about Barack Obama, who is, by any measure, an intelligent, thoughtful, inclusive man deserving of at minimum an inferred compliment. But no, they just couldn’t bring yourselves to do it. And so they will pay the price by being considered “out of the loop”, and “on the wrong track” and nobody will want to hear your opinion anymore. Not even the new Republican Party that will emerge from the muck as something new and different; or perhaps old and familiar, back to their roots, so to speak.
The Presidential Election of 2008 was not just an election and was not just about politics. The Obama campaign was a movement. As defined by Random House a “movement” in this context means: “a diffusely organized or heterogeneous group of people or organizations tending toward or favoring a generalized common goal”. That is exactly what President Elect Obama tied to do through his entire campaign. And he stayed on topic for almost 2 years. None of the people mentioned above in this post, and many, many people not mentioned in this post, ever recognized the difference between an election campaign and a movement. They missed the boat and missed the historical significance of what happened on November 4th2008. Americans stoop up to be counted and stood up to say “We’re not going to take it anymore”. The Republican tactics of fear don’t work and were not appreciated by the electorate based on exit polls. Every negative ad, every mangling of the truth, or outright lie convinced a few more Independents and Republicans to vote Democrat
I’m sure you saw the people around this country who gathered in predetermined locations to await and then celebrate the victory of Barack Obama. But did you see the hoards of Americans who gathered spontaneously in town squares to do the same thing. You probably caught this phenomenon on television but did you also notice people from countries all over the WORLD who gather to celebrate America’s huge step forward. The American Dream is an experiment that has so far lasted 232 years. And when times are tough, like they are now, Americans can unite for the greater good. And Americans can think for themselves independently, they can analyze the conditions set before them, and they have the ability to think and look forward instead of backwards to what used to be. I don’t care how it sounds but for the first time in my life I am truly proud to be American. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t proud before; it means I am MORE proud.
So when have Americans ever poured into the streets to celebrate and support the newly elected President of the United States. For that matter when have Americans ever done this to celebrate anything, political or otherwise. One on-air personality from a cable TV show said that it was possible that the first moon landing/walk may be the only other event in history that created this level of pride and exuberance. I don’t know because I was too young to remember, but that sounds accurate to me. And we’re talking about GOOD NEWS celebrations not bad news vigils.
The political torch is being passed to a new generation and a new philosophy. I am at the cusp (the older side, unfortunately) of a generation who doesn’t see color, religion, sexual orientation, and more as divisive issues. We doesn’t see differences, but rather similarities.
The right-wing cancer on the American phsyche is finally in remission. Those of us with clearer, more mature heads have been waiting for this day since it all went wrong when Ronald Reagan took office in January of 1981. Since that time we have been on a course, either stemming from the President himself or the Republican-controlled Congress, that grew progressively more extreme in its Evangelical values. For whatever reason, a large group still believes in this philosophy; they believe in subscribing to culture wars. They believe in “us versus them”. They believe in exclusion over inclusion. If you ever watched the critically acclaimed televisionshow called “Jericho” which was about the aftermath of a large scale terrorist attach on the United States, you would have seen the not-so-subtle overtones of what it is like under the Bush Administration or under Republican rule in general. Americans pitted against Americans instead of Americans helping other Americans. We are nothing if not generous with our time, money, and support of those in trouble or less fortunate than ourselves. But the fundamental idea of America’s generosity was swept out when Reagan was swept into power in 1981. I am overjoyed that America’s self-esteem and its zest for inclusion has returned with gusto.
As for Barack Obama I hear people, including myself, refer to him (before today) as “Senator Obama”, “Barack Obama”, or “Mr. Obama”, or just plain “Obama”. He has earned the right to be called “President Elect” and/or “President”. But for some reason, my admiration for him and the fact that he makes me feel included, makes we want to call him “Barack”. Just plain Barack. He is the only political figure in my life that I have ever wanted to meet and the only one with whom I ever wanted to sit down and have a chat.
In closing I want to say that I have only recently involved myself in politics. Barack’s speech at the DNC in 2004 started it all for me and then I began my own personal grass roots movement through communicating with friends and family, acquaintances, and visitors to my Blog. Prior to this election I voted in every election for President, Governor, and/or Senator. However, this is the first time I truly “fell” for a candidate. If it is possible to love somebody that you have never met, then that’s what happened to me. Love comes in many forms. In my case my love for Barack comes in the form of respect and admiration. He makes me want to be a better person; a better American.
I look forward to the future of America and the World. Maybe someday I’ll forgive myself for not being as gracious as I could have been.