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