Election Night Lessons

Barack Obama is the President-Elect.

I wish I could simply refer to my prediction from more than two years ago when I said Obama would win tonight. Unfortunately, I changed my mind in February, thinking that John McCain would pull this thing out. The flaws behind my thinking: 1) I couldn't believe that the Democratic Party would heal as well as it did following a bitter primary season. Their unified front set the tone for victory. 2) I still hold that if it hadn't been for the economic downturn in the past month or so, we'd be waiting for days for them to sort out the vote. Still not sure McCain could've won [the Obama ground-game/money coffers were just too powerful] but it would've been incredibly close.

So before I retire for the night, just a few words for those on either side of the aisle.

For those Republican supporters: Don't fret. While the internet and certain television networks [well, all of them] are saying that this is the end of the G.O.P., realize that this is part of the ebb and flow of the American electorate. The Democrats seem to forget that they most recently experienced this feeling in the late 1990's. But it is again the Democrats' time and now the Republican Party will be in a position to freely to criticize big government, its most comfortable posture.

For those Democratic supporters: Good luck. Hope is a most beautiful thing because it's directed towards something that very well could be. The problem is that unrealized hope is a venomous creature. With full control of two branches of government, nothing should be impossible for the Dems to accomplish. Unless the next few years are fruitful, matching the high levels of hope that now exist, things will revert back to the G.O.P. in eight years.

Notice that I said "eight years." My next political prediction is that Obama is easily a two-term President. The economy can go nowhere but up [eventually] and we should be out of Iraq by the next election. That will give him plenty of fodder in order to beat Mitt Romney in 2012. And then we'll get the great 2016 face-off: Hillary Clinton verses Sarah Palin. By then, Hillary would be 70 and Sarah would be 53, so that'll be interesting, eh?

But as I sit here tonight, putting aside my ideological misgivings and fear of the cult of personality, I will admit to being incredibly proud of my country for what happened today. In no other country in the world could a minority candidate be elected to their nation's highest office. The United States still bears the scars of legalized slavery and is just one generation removed from the institution of the Civil Rights act. We have not fully atoned for those sins, but perhaps we are getting there, finally becoming color blind. So if our country is more comfortable with race, this is a good thing. And if something like this inspires an impoverished black neighborhood like ours onto greater heights, then this is a good thing.

This republic shall endure.