Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Less Division or - /

Congratulation to Obama. I'm away for a conference until Friday, so I'll have more reaction in a couple days. For now I just want to make three quick points about political divisions.

First, although Obama won in a landslide of electoral votes, his actual margin of victory in the popular vote isn't that huge. As I write this (2:30 a.m. on the 5th) he's about 5 million ahead of McCain. Bush won by 3 million in 2004. Those are not big differences, and I think that demonstrates quite convincingly that neither party really represents the full will of the people. Hopefully the Democrats don't see this as a mandate, the way the Republicans did.

Second, I'm quite baffled by the number of people who are sooooooo down, or sooooooo up about the results of this election. Obama is not going to be ruinous for this country, nor will he bring salvation. Anyone super excited or super depressed would do well to find a modicum of perspective.

Third, and maybe most essential, we all need to work together. Something Obama said in his acceptance speech really caught my attention. The line was something to the effect of, "for those who did not vote for me, and who's support I have not yet won, I will be your president too." I take this to have two meanings. First, it is a stern reminder that he's in charge now, like it or not. This was a point far too many Democrats rejected when Bush was elected. I recall hearing, from a great number of people, "Bush isn't my president." Let's hope Republicans don't have that same flawed view. Second, I take this to be a statement of hope. It sounds as if Obama is promising in this statement to do what he can to win over the support of the entire nation. And if that is indeed what he means, then that is a very good sign for eliminating divisions.

Oh yeah, and my wife and I were able to walk right into our polling place and vote, with no wait what-so-ever. In a battleground state with near record turnout. Awww yeah.

If a song could be president
We could all add another verse
Life would teach us to rehearse
Till we found a key change


Eric Michael Peterson said...

I feel that some people have the right to be super exited about the election outcome, I mean after all this is the first time we have put a minority into the office of the president. That is a big deal.

Although I agree I think people that are using this to say the world is ending or we are going to be saved from the evils of Bush overnight are moronic.

empeterson said...

I agree with everything you said. Now that's history.

Seriously, your second point especially is something I was thinking about too. People in my class last night (in which I was possibly the only person to vote the way I did--it was a moral theology class, if that gives you any indication) were so disappointed every time Obama got another state, and based on some people's facebookbook messages, we are going to hell in a handbasket now. I just don't get that. I had a really hard time decidind who to vote for in the first place, so I wasn't super anti one or the other, but rather, I felt like both had their strong points and could do a good job running the country.

superscalifragilisticexpealidocious said...

Emily-you think your class was bad? And the facebook status's are horrible? You should see some that kids my age are posting. Hear what some of them are going to say today. It's ridiculous! They all believe that Obama is going to screw us over, "say hello to higher taxes" "welcome world war 3"
Somebody honestly posted a bulletin message basically saying that Obama would be like the next Fidel Castro!

Yeah, that is what I get to go to school with.

Rob K said...

I hope I am wrong but being from Illinois and seeing how screwed up everything that the government touches here is and knowing he is bringing in many of the same brain trust that have messed up things so badly in this state to run the country, I don't hold out too much hope that the change he will bring will be positive.

Look at Illinois Schools, jobless rates, infrastructure, and tax rates. I tell you you won't get less for your buck than what Illinois provides.

That being said my life will change very little, I will still supplement the poor Illinois education my kids get, still pay way more in taxes than I should (like I always have, and watch as those dollars go out of my community), and watch the politicians from Illinois do jail time as they break the public trust.

I am not being reactionary just going off of past history of the politcal machine from which Barrack was born.

Gina said...

I also think its baffling how some people think we are in sooo much trouble and we all better start praying for the next four years. Seriously people? Come on. The president himself really doesn't have all that much power. And even if the house and senate are controlled by democrats there are still some republicans around to keep things in check. I think we'll all survive.

empeterson said...

I think a balance is nice. That's a huge part of our system, checks and balances, and having some people from various parties, not even always just Republican or Democrat, is important for many reasons.

Gina said...

O, and I didn't have to wait at all to vote either. Walked right in and got my ballot. It was great.

Justin Gannon said...

It's not over yet. Coleman/Franken are locked in a mandatory recount now.



Well at least I got to talk in depth with Jim Oberstar about the proposed raid system from Duluth to the Twin Cities. I is happy. :-)

Thinking Fool said...

I didn't have to wait either! But the poor bastards at the polling place next door looked like they had to wait half an hour.

It does indeed appear that we were in the same place in 2000 and 2004. :)

dyk said...

Any thoughts on McCain? I heard a portion of his concession speech and couldn't help but wonder where that man had been the last nine months.