Despite all the ranting over the last few months, I never thought things would turn out like this. Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Nevada and Iowa all turning and giving Barack Obama a decisive victory - a landslide - in this election. It still hasn't quite sunk in yet that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States - the same United States that looked like an entirely different country four years ago. I remember coming home from work the morning after the 2004 election and just having this sinking feeling in my stomach that the Neocons were going to hang onto government for decades, but here we are, just four years later and the world is an entirely different place.
I'm writing today, not to gloat, not to rub it in anyone's face, but just to be happy. I know I've written some harsh things about John McCain in the last few months and I stand by every word, but the man gave a powerful concession speech last night and should be commended for his gracious and classy exit from the race. As I watched McCain last night, it got me thinking about where it all went wrong for the Arizona senator; now there will be plenty of time to place blame, and I will, but there's only one thing that really held him back - he wasn't John McCain.
Think back to the primaries, who was McCain running against? A borderline theocrat, Mike Huckabee; a Bush clone, Mitt Romney; and a cross-dressing, egomaniacal, scumbag, Rudy Giuliani. All three Neocons in every sense of the word and would undoubtedly continue many (if not all) of George W. Bush's policies. Why did McCain win that primary? Because Republican voters came out and voted for the guy that would be least like Bush and given McCain's history, he was the most logical choice. Republicans, Democrats, the entrie country was done with Bush and that's why McCain won the primary, but then as the campaign heats up and Obama gets the Democratic nomination, McCain becomes Bush.
I loved John McCain, I would have voted for him in 2000 if he got the nomination and I would have likely voted for him in 2004 against John Kerry, but that John McCain was not around in 2008. I've been over this numerous times and I'm not going to beat the dead horse, but I honestly don't know what McCain was thinking when he surrounded himself with "Bushies." Hindsight is always 20/20, especially when America overwhelmingly rejects the policies of the last eight years, but these people do this for a living, how could they not have seen this coming? Neoconservatism is dead... I wouldn't be surprised to see them try one more time in 2012 with someone like Palin, but that's another discussion for another day; as it stands now, Americans are done with Neocons.
So let's move forward. Obama supporters - I know after the last four years, you're dying to just let loose and go crazy, but we still have a lot of work to do. Getting him elected was just step one, if we sit back and kick our feet up, then Obama's presidency will be about as effective as Bush's second term. The far-right got Bush re-elected and just figured that everything would be fine and dandy and look where it got them four years later. We have to prove to our opposition that Barack Obama was the right man for the job. When someone calls you a socialist or a baby killer for voting for Barack, instead of just calling them an idiot, tell them why they're wrong. If someone makes an inaccurate statement about Obama, politely correct them. When someone tells you America is doomed, tell them why you voted for Barack.
Non-Obama supporters - I hope you can look at this presidency with an open mind. It was ugly campaign, no question and you may have heard a lot of misconceptions about Barack Obama, I ask that you give him a shot. I know our side freaked out when Bush got re-elected, but we already had four years of the guy, we were pretty sure what was going to happen. Obama's brand new, give him a chance to sink or swim, don't let the blowhards on talk radio sabotage him before he's even inaugurated. They did the same thing to Clinton in 92, but we turned out okay over the next eight years, right? We don't know if Obama will be a good president or not, but we're all in this together and it's not going to help anybody if we let the far-right destroy his presidency before it begins.
Barack Obama ran a campaign unlike any other presidential candidate in history - he took the high road, he surrounded himself with people who weren't the typical Washington insiders, he didn't take a dime from corporate lobbyists, and he ran on a message of hope and change rather than fear and smear. Supporters, let's make our president-elect proud and show the world that we support Obama in a fashion similar to how he campaigns. Those on the other side, we welcome you with open arms and we'd be happy to do whatever we can to inform you about the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.