Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America Has Spoken

Barack Obama will be our next president.

Whether you supported him in this election or not, it was pretty hard to watch everything play out last night without feeling inspired on some level. I personally, had never witnessed anything like it in my life: the tears of happiness, the shouts of joy, people of every race and age and class joining together in one place to witness a change that they all worked for...It was pretty amazing from where I was sitting. In the end of things, I (ironically) think that John McCain's concession speech summed it up the best:

"My friends, we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Sen. Barack Obama — to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans, who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president, is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Sen. Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to visit — to dine at the White House — was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

Sen. Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day — though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her Creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Sen. Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our goodwill and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

It is natural tonight to feel some disappointment, but tomorrow we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again. We fought — we fought as hard as we could.

And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours...

I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I'm sure I made my share of them. But I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.

This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life. And my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Sen. Obama and my old friend, Sen. Joe Biden, should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.

I would not be an American worthy of the name, should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century. Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone and I thank the people of Arizona for it.

Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Sen. Obama, I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.

And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history. Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America."

Last night, we watched history being made in a way we may never witness again in our lifetime.

For the people who prayed with all of their might that Barack would win, last night was one of those blessed nights where your desires and God's will lined up perfectly. For those who were praying for a McCain victory, last night was a good reminder that sometimes God's will is not our own and that an answered prayer doesn't always yield a "yes". One thing is for sure for those of us who leaned heavily on our spirituality in this race: God doesn't make mistakes. We need to keep hoping and praying and working together for the greater good of the country and ultimately our world.

That's all that needs to be said today, in my humble opinion. :o)

Congratulations, Barack Obama. Bring us some good out of this giant mess.


Sharon said...

I congratulate him, I am relieved it's all over with (esp the campaign ads!), but I am still disappointed that he won.
I do fear his stance on MANY issues. I am curious and slightly fearful of what we will see and go through these next 4 years.
I hope Obama surprises me and does more good than I am expecting.

Jennifer said...

I know--I feel the same way. I'm hoping the negative things I've read and heard about Obama were just doctored to sound that way--We've seen it go both ways. The abortion thing...that is the biggest thing I have against him--You know about that...But people are already getting abortions done, even with our pro-life president so I guess the thing to hope for there is a general change of heart in PEOPLE, not so much the government. *sigh*

I'm curious and slightly fearful, too!

Sue said...

I am sure the media will still try & blame Bush or the Republican party if & when the next natural disaster hits. Let's see if Obama steps up to the plate. So many Americans seem mesmerized by him that it makes me think of how the Germans were with Hitler. Very scary. I can't & won't congratulate Barack Obama! The giant mess I fear is about to get much larger. Too many Americans refuse to take ownership of their mistakes. Obama saw that as bait & grabbed a hell of a lot of fish.

Jennifer said...

I was just sitting here and wondering what kind of blog post I would have written if I had just put it all out there...everything I believe, everything I hate...Nobody would ever come back to my blog again! I didn't even write about politics in my blog, but I couldn't help at least putting something up--I love McCain's speech and agreed with him in that what's done is done and now we just sort of have to go with it and do what we can and hope for the best. I don't think it's going to be as good or as bad as people have portrayed, but I am not a political guru, so who am I to say? :o(
Part of me feels like I should delete this post b/c it doesn't really express what I'm feeling...or change it altogether...but the rest of me doesn't want to get into it with people like stu :oP

I guess I shouldn't care so much about other people's feelings *sigh*

Kate said...

Did you see Fr. Corapi's video's? They were awesome, but he did it far too late I think.