I sat up late last night, together with my 12 year old daughter and 15 year son, watching election results and was moved by both the concession and victory speeches. President-elect Obama provided an inclusive and, at times, somber speech that focused on unity rather than division.
It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America
We had some nice conversation about Obama’s reference to Abraham Lincoln and “the better angels of our nature.”
Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.
Those are values that we all share. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
And I know there are disappointed voters across the country. But I think the tone and the content of what Obama had to say was a great way to begin his administration.
As an admitted history nerd, I love election returns of any kind but I especially enjoyed hearing from both McCain and Obama reference the strength of the country, the common values we share and the need to look to the future.
tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
And so no matter who you voted for, there can still be cause for celebration that the system works. That the political ideas first articulated in 1787 are still sound. That the social ideals of 1776 are, perhaps, coming closer to reality. And that together, we can create a better place for our kids.
Out of many, one.