It’s a brand-new day in the USA.
Now that the election is over, we can all breathe a great big sigh of relief. There is a general sense that, aside from running a brilliantly organized and well-funded campaign, Obama won because of the economy. And it’s true that money issues are huge right now…but wait, aren’t the Republicans supposed to be the money experts? The fiscal conservatives?
No, wait; Republicans are the family values people. That is, if you are not gay, not atheist, not pro-choice or pro–gun control, or even one to question the patriotism of going to war, even a stupid one.
What I saw the night of November 4, as the sea of people cried with joy at Grant Park in Chicago, was not just the birth of a new era in American history, but also the rebirth of true American values.
The essence of America is diversity. We Americans have come from everywhere in the world and intermingled and intermarried. The beauty of the great experiment that is America is that we are UNITED in our diversity. We are united in our belief that we have the right to choose how we want to live our lives. We are united in our hope for the future and our love of freedom. Freedom, respect for diversity, and hopefulness—those are the values at the very foundation of this country.
The eruption of joy, respect, and gratitude around the world didn’t have anything to do with how President-elect Obama will deal with the global economic crisis. It had everything to do with how he portends the return of the greatness of the American people. He inspires us to remember that we once believed we could be a force for good in the world. He inspires us to remember that we can expect greatness from each and every one of us. THAT is true patriotism.
And you know what? Republicans are welcome to this dream too. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican, was, after all, the president who abolished slavery. He went to war in order to keep the United States united. Back then it wasn’t red states and blue states but North and South.
While the liberal AND conservative media were yakking away on talk show after talk show about gay marriage, abortion rights, and whether McCain or Obama would take Pennsylvania or Ohio, Rome burned. Wall Street fell. And the American people finally did the right thing and voted for the president who could save us.
Oh yeah—here’s another American value we are going to have to revive: hard work! We’ve got a lot of it ahead of us.