Almost a week into this, “New day for America” I have to ask, “Where do we go from here?” I ask this because I am not sure what direction exactly we as a country, will choose to go. I mean if you really think about it, I guess we have nowhere to go but up. I suppose it also matters how Obama does as President. So far, and I know he isn’t President yet, but the first positive I noticed was how the world reacted to his victory. Videos from around the world showed people dancing in the streets. And correct me if I am wrong, but I do not remember seeing images like that (even if those videos were false) since September 11th, 2001. To see the world celebrate something America did really says something about how they already view President-Elect Obama.
This is great for America because we will not have to dig ourselves out of the huge hole Bush will leave us in, in terms of credibility. The news that Obama asked Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff only adds to the respect Obama has received. Not only was it in the speed of the appointment, but also the fact that Obama chose someone who will help him get down to business that makes the World breathe easier.
Knowing that America has elected a leader the world has faith in is something we should all be proud of. For years we have been laughed at, booed, and our flag has been burned because of the terrible job Bush has done. Well now America has moved on, and luckily the world has moved along with us.
But I still have yet to answer my original question. Where do we go from here? I suppose it will help if I break this question down further. Have we truly entered “Post-Racial” America? What does this election say to conservatives? Are we no longer divided? Will Barack Obama be the change he says he will, and what happens if he fails?
Let us start with “Post Racial” America. This country, some could argue was founded on freedom, but built on slavery. It would be a mistake to forget that. But we should also acknowledge how far we have come in 232 years. Do I believe there will always be racism? Yes, unfortunately. However, I have seen that with each generation it can be less and less. It is true however, that hate is taught, and as long as there are parents who teach their children to hate, it will never go away. However I believe a “Post Racial” America is still something that we can achieve. We can put racism so far out to the fringes that it will no longer be such a contentious issue. Will this happen because Barack Obama is the first African-American President? No, but it is a great start.
We cannot talk about where America goes from just a liberal viewpoint. Of course, liberals will follow Obama wherever he takes them, but as he so poignantly says, “There's not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America.” While this sounds great in theory the truth is, there is a liberal America and a conservative America. I know that this problem is one Obama wants to change more than anything about our political system, but as long as issues like Gay Marriage and Abortion exist, there will be a sharp divide in America. I was hoping that California’s Proposition 8 would not pass and we would begin to recognize more gay rights, thus taking away one of the biggest issues that divides liberals and conservatives. Unfortunately it did pass and we will continue to fight about this. Still, Obama is the President so what are the conservatives to do? It is my hope that they realize some of the huge problems we are facing and rally around him. At this point, I do not think they have much of a choice.
That takes us to being one nation supporting a President who offers us change. Barack Obama vows to change Washington and make politics better. He wants to dramatically change the way things work, and we gave him the mandate to do so. So as a country we can only go in the direction we hope President Obama will take us. We hope that he will continue to stand for an end to lobbying and negative politics. While the campaign is over all that negativity only leads to gridlock in Congress. Obama was great to run a campaign that stayed out of the mud, it bodes well for how he will deal with opposition to his platform. It shows that Barack Obama can have a respectful debate over issues that can lead to doing what is best for the American people. I can look forward to (at least) four years of that. That is such a refreshing change to the politics we have had (and the stalemate it has created) for the past eight years.
But I also mentioned “What if he fails?” What if Barack Obama is not the change he says he is? Well, for the moment I am not going to go there. I am going to have faith that this man, who the country elected last week to be the next leader of the free world, will be who we want him to be. I know change will not happen over night. I know he will have to fight through much partisanship at first. He is after all planning to change a very stubborn system, and there will be many who do not want to go along. But for now, I am ready to believe that we as a nation do go forward from here. We go forward past the dark times we are in now. It will not be easy, but there is a path to a better tomorrow. We as a country can move forward because we want to, we chose to. As a nation, we go forward because finally, we can.
We are people who can no longer remain silent in a world that is screaming for silence and censorship. A world that discourages individuality and enjoys taking away human rights.
We are people who must respond to the injustices we see and read about every day. We commit to giving the world one place to look to in order to see some sort of truth in a world filled with lies.
We are Last of Our Kind...