President-elect Barack Obama.
Isn't that a nice sentence? It's a good day today. I don't think I've felt this good in a long time.
Spontaneous celebrations in the streets across the nation last night. When has that ever happened after an election in this country?
Something very special happened yesterday. President-elect Obama (I like writing that) was right in saying that one of the great things about America is that we can change and we have just proven that again.
It is truly a new day. A day filled with hope, opportunity, and change.
President-elect Obama was also right that it is time to end the ugly, ugly partisan division in this country.
As a proud and unabashed liberal Democrat I would love to simply ignore the Republicans and push forward with a purely liberal agenda. However, for the heatlh of the nation sane, respectable and responsible Republicans need to step up and join in to assist with honest discussion of our common problems and concerns.
The Time has come...
... and while I agree with President-elect Barack Obama that we need to end the division of red and blue America because there is only one United States of America... rigorous honesty demands that I state unequivocably where the thoroughly ugly practice of hate and fear based divide and attack has come from. It began with some of Nixon's operatives and was expanded under Reagan and the first Bush. But it was the ugly ultra-conservative fringe that hijacked the Republican Party that perfected the exploitation of hatred and fear in order to divide America, stoke hatred, spread dis-honesty and force their destructive agenda on the nation.
The American People Spoke yesterday to cap the message they sent in 2006 to reject completely the politics of division. None of us like it. Well, perhaps a fringe 1% or so gets off on it. But most Republicans don't like it any more then Democrats and Independents hate it with a passion.
It's ok when we disagree on issues. It's ok when we disagree on solutions. It's ok when we disagree on priorities. It's ok when we disagree regarding private vs. public, state vs. federal, individual vs. community, domestic vs. international.
Let's disagree. Let's talk about those disagreements. Quietly and calmly. Thoughtfully and most of all mutually respectfully. As Americans we can come together to tackle our common problems and craft solutions for the common good. Sometimes those solutions will follow a more conservative form and other times a more liberal form and sometimes a moderate combination of the two will work best.
But nothing will work when we allow ourselves to get caught up in the politics of division. The results of the last 8-12 years show us that truth all too clearly.
The economy, our broken health care system, our broken governmental institutions, two unending & unwinnable wars, fair vs. free trade, world starvation, terrorism and the desparation that feeds it, an energy crisis requiring a serious and sustained effort at converting to renewable and sustainable energy sources, an environmental problem growing day by day into a global climate crisis, signing statements and executive orders that need reviewing and reversing, world relations that need healing, and so much more.
The incoming administration has their work cut out for them. They need and deserve the responsible help of all Americans regardless of political belief. That doesn't mean capitulation. It mean honestly working together to solve our common problems. It does mean ending obstructionism and the poltics of personal destruction and partisan divide.
Today is a Beautiful day. Let us all work towards ensuring that every day in America from here on out is a beautiful day.