It’s official! The 44th president of the United States will be Barack Obama. I want to offer a humble congratulation from the Republican writer of a little known blog in a remote corner of cyberspace. I also want to offer a congrats to my brother Andy who is a huge Obama supporter as well as to so many of my friends who were excited about the President-Elect’s campaign.
I’ve spent the day here in China between classes trawling CNN, ABC, and the other networks online watching the electoral results come in. I must admit I felt envious of the excitement the Democrats were feeling. I know the thrill of supporting someone for so long, campaigning for them, and then experiencing the joy of victory that evening.
I remember 1984. I was 18 and it was my first election. I walked into the election booth and cast my very first ballot for Ronald Wilson Reagan. I was so proud. I went to work at the Burger King Drive-thru after that with a uniform decorated with Reagan – Bush buttons and encouraging every person I passed a Whopper to to get out and vote! That evening my friend Dave and I went to the Republican victory party as we saw Reagan sweep every state but Minnesota. Euphoria!!
Its been a long time since Republicans have offered up that kind of hope and excitement. For all the fear-mongering the far Right has done over the last few months, it has not been able to quell the excitement Barack Obama has generated.
I see in Barack Obama some of the hope I saw back then. Even people who didn’t vote for Reagan often acknowledged the optimism he conveyed for, and about, America was contagious. Mr. Obama generates that same optimism. Tammy and I watched the 30 minute ad that played on the networks this week and had to admit that America seemed like a better place through his eyes than John McCain’s.
Therefore, I wish to say this Republican is proud of you Mr. Obama. You stayed above the fray as much as this broken system would allow. You cast a vision of hope which all but your most ardent detractors could embrace and you reached out to those who disagreed with you with a graciousness and a statesmanship I have been embarrassed to say has all but disappeared from my party.
So on this election night I wish to say, “Congratulations Mr. President-Elect. May God Bless You and God Bless the United States of America.”
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