What a difference we showed to the world on Nov. 4, 2008, from eight years ago. This is the United States we have been fighting for since Dec. 2000, one that is much more united now than then.
I remember eight years ago, hearing from people who wanted to, or did, move to Canada or another country after Bush-Cheney took the White House in late 2000. I said I understood their sentiments, but my choice was to stay and fight for what I believed in. I moved from Texas to the Washington, D.C., area in 2003 partly to battle against the selfish Bush-Cheney administration more directly. Most of us stayed and fought for what we believed in, and on Nov. 4, 2008, we were rewarded.
How sweet it is.
Barack Obama showed us a better way than what eight years of Bush-Cheney gave us. With his overwhelming presidential victory, he gives us hope that we can get out of Bush-Cheney's endless war and deep recession, while doing more to address climate change, discrimination, unfair taxation, millions of Americans without health care, and other issues. He has a Democratic Congress to work with on his agenda.
But of course, now begins the tougher work of following through on Obama’s vision. There is much more work to do.
Deepak Chopra is right when he said that Sarah Palin, who could still end up in Washington as she eyes a Senate race in Alaska, is "the reverse of Barack Obama, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses." We can be proud that American voters, in overwhelming numbers, chose Obama’s idealism over Palin’s cynicism.
Today, some Republicans are openly praying for the health of Scalia, Thomas and other Republican Supreme Court justices so they can hold on to the third branch of government, and telling young conservatives not to join the military but the police force so they can "hold onto their guns." But John McCain and Obama gave gracious speeches that should go far to heal election bitterness. Whether that will result in a stronger, healthier country remains to be seen. But, it’s a start, one that we were robbed of eight years ago.
To paraphrase what Michelle Obama once said, I'm really proud of my country, and proud for the world, today. I've been proud before, but today I'm really proud.