Despite the title, this post is not what you think it will be about. If you voted for McCain and are one of the 3 conservatives that read this blog, I encourage you to keep reading (and to set aside your anger/disappointment/fear/etc).
I suppose I can gloat. Or call the GOP 'losers'. Or curse W and start a countdown to January 20, 2009. But I'm not. Nor do I feel that it is appropriate (except maybe the countdown because I'm looking forward to inauguration day for a different reason now).
I stayed up long enough last night to hear Obama's first speech as president (elect). And like his other speeches that I was lucky enough to listen to, I was in awe of his meaningful rhetoric and inspired by his passion. Just like the first speech I ever heard him speak, I felt like I was being called to do something. If you listened to his words even casually, the message was clear: we are all Americans, the politics of division are over, and now we must work together.
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.
I didn't go traipsing around the state of Virginia talking to people about Obama just because I wanted a Dem to win. I did it because I believe in Obama and what he represents in this country. It's not just change. It's progress. For the first time in 8 years, I feel like this country is moving forward. And honestly, we cannot move forward and create positive change in America without working together. Red states and blue states. Conservatives and liberals. Republicans and Democrats.
Therefore, this is my official reaching-across-the-aisle post. I heard Obama's call for unity and I'm going to act on it. I am officially retiring my use of the word 'Rethuglican'. Sure, I don't think I've ever used the word in a blog post and certainly never used it in the presence of my Republican friends. But I use it while in the presence of my fellow liberals and in casual conversation with other like-minded individuals. It's more a sign of my anger at the past 8 years of GOP rule and less a sign of my views on conservative politics. I realize now that using that word was not only petty of me, but completely not constructive.
I may be drunk on post-election euphoria, but this is a promise I intend to keep. And I encourage all of you, both conservative and liberal, to put down your verbal weapons and embrace the notion of working together. It's really the only way to get this country back on its feet, both domestically and abroad.
As the past 8 years have shown us, negativity gets us nowhere.