I’m having a hard time finding the words to express how renewed I feel in my faith in our democracy. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I can say “I’m happy to bring a child into this world, which, for all of its problems, today seems much more full of opportunity”. I don’t expect this election to completely change anything, but I hope that many more people feel the way I do; engaged in the political system and ready to contribute to society, as a united people. A few days before the election my good friend Ben told me he was worried because ever since he’s been old enough to vote, the results led him to believe that his vote didn’t count. He felt betrayed by the system in 2000, and then by the electorate in 2004, by a president who preached “compassionate conservatism” and touted himself as a “uniter, not a divider”, but proved otherwise.
While I haven’t spoken to him today, I expect that he feels like he played an important part in what happened last night. Most importantly I think there are many people of all persuasions and political affiliations around the country to feel ready to change the way we govern, and to make government work for the people again. The media may still portray a country divided, but if you watched the celebrations last night on television, or spoke with family members who traditionally vote Republican across the board who, in this election at least, voted for Obama, I think it’s clear that our country is more united today than it has been in years. While the far right will paint Obama as a raging liberal, his call for personal responsibility is one rarely heard from any other politician with the same degree of sincerity and conviction. Can we make a difference for our children? Can we put aside our differences and unite under the idea that we all want prosperity, freedom, and equality? In the words of our new Commander In Chief, Yes We Can.