Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations to President Elect Obama

Having supported McCain and Palin for President, I was disappointed with the results of yesterday's election. Having said that, I think congratulations are in order for Senator, and now President Elect, Barack Obama. Obama's election is historic for a number of reasons. First, and most prominatly, Barack Obama has proven that our Presidency is no longer only available for middle to old age white men. He disserves credit for that. Anyone claiming that America is a place of racism will have to explain how Obama became President.

Second, President Elect Obama had a very significant win with the Electoral College yesterday. As I write this, Missouri and Virgina are still being listed as too close to call. Even if both of those states should go to McCain, no one will call this a close election. Obama won the election, and won without it being very close. No one will be looking for hanging chads or to try any states election process in court.

Finally, we in the United States take for granted the changing of our Presidency. Yesterday, we had a regularly scheduled election, that no party had to call for. The result of the election was that the party that controled our Presidency was thrown out, and the rival party gained the Executive branch. All of this happened without any use of force, and without any bloodshed. This is very rare in the rest of the world, and we should be proud of it.

In the months to come, we will see what kind of President Obama will be. Will the Obama who voted in Illinios and the Senate, the Obama who never disagreed with his party, become President? Will the Obama from the campaign trail, the Obama who pormised a new type of politics become President? I hope for the centerist Obama, but worry we will get the leftist Obama.

Regardless of what the future holds in store, congratulations Mr. Obama. Good luck in your Presidency.


Anonymous said...

Nice post Andy. I appreciate your sensibility and good will.

And I have to say that John McCain's concession speech was beautiful and eloquent. I admired McCain last night. He seemed quite authentically to be encouraging people who supported him to give Obama a chance, to put their country first, and to challenge angry or racist responses to the president-elect.

BTW, I was about 40 feet from Obama during his speech last night at the rally at Grant Park in the middle of 200,000 people. It was an amazing moment. My 11 year old son was with me. The event was electrifying; the whole city was celebrating in the streets. Of course we were celebrating Obama's win, but we were also celebrating democracy, freedom, ethnic diversity, human flourishing, and this unique nation that we love. I take Andy's post to be a celebration of those same things. Cheers!

Senior Lady said...

You are very gracious in your disappointment, and you are so right. We should all be especially proud to be Americans today. It is a great day for our country, no matter who you voted for, for the reasons you mentioned and for the exceptional voter turnout.

Senior Lady said...

Well said, anon. How lucky to be able to share the night with your son in that great crowd, something you and he will never forget.

Renee said...

I am also disappointed with the results, but here is a good perspective from Beth Moore:

familyman said...

I also thought John McCain's speech seemed very heartfelt and sincere. It's really too bad for McCain that he didn't sound like that during the election. I really think he would have stood a better chance.

The only thing I'd take issue with in your post Andy is this line -

"Anyone claiming that America is a place of racism will have to explain how Obama became President."

There is still far too much racism out there. We saw a lot of it during the campaign.

But Obama's election does demonstrate that we as a country have taken a big step in the right direction.

Christina said...

President-elect Obama was not my choice either, but we are Americans, and he is our next President. We do all need to support him, give him a chance in our hearts.

anon., I envy you, 'electrifying' has got to be the word to describe being there. Watching it on TV, I could feel it, so, wow! an event of a lifetime...

My strongest positive reaction was this: that a member of a race and culture that came from slavery has been elected to hold the most powerful position in the world. Only in America... And when you look back, over the history of slavery and its horror, how it came to our shores & flourished, and was by good and godly men fought to this day and this moment, the triumph I see is beyond historical, it is an eternal one.

Andy D said...

Thanks for the comments...

anon, I am sure the night will be one you and your son will always forget.

Familyman, there will always be people who discriminate as long as there are people. I think what little bit of racism we saw was way out of the ordinary. The world is a much better place now.

Anonymous said...

renee, thanks for that link. It was a stunning post by Ms. Moore, and the reactions to it were moving. It gives me hope.

Andy D said...


She said the same thing I said, but in much better terms.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Andy, my son and I will probably *never* forget Obama's election night.


Andy D said...

Oops, sorry Anon. Hopefully one day I will have enough money to afford and editor.

pack04 said...

Yes, come January 20th, Senator Obama will become my president. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, I guess we will have to wait and see. I will respect him and the people in this country who saw fit to put him there.
There are people who have posted on here and have been very gracious winners, as well as gracious losers. I have to ask if it would be the same had McCain won? I don't know. It was not the same for when Bush won. Before you get all mad think about this...did you cheer and support the Dixie Chicks after what they said in Europe? Have you ever made the comment "he is not my president" or "I did not vote for him?"

Additionally, I take exception to what Familyman said, "we have taken a big step in the right direction." What more do you want Familyman? All the laws are in place that require equal treatment, hell there are even laws that require unequal treatment (affirmative action) in an effort to make things more equal, no poll taxes or test, there are even amendments. What more can there be? You want people to stop liking the Yankees so to speak. You might not like the Yankees or Yankees fans but that is their belief. You can't change people's minds, you can't legislate that, you can't legislate feelings.

Perhaps Obama will become the first black president because no other black person before him was good enough to be, not because the country was racist. While I say that I am not discounting the racism side of things, I know it exists and it is not just whites hating blacks.

By people saying this is important because he is black is continuing on the belief that being black is different, therefore making this important. He is an American that got more than 270 electoral college votes. That is all.

Kram said...

During the campaign I was a fierce opponent of Barack Obama. Now that the votes have been counted, my congratulations to President-elect Obama. He will be my President on January 21st.

I have a 7 month old son. I have been writing in a journal for the past 6 months of things going on in the world and with him. Part of the journal entry for Thursday read: If there is one thing I will strive to teach you it is to respect other peoples opinion, beliefs and rights. You don't have to agree with them but they should be respected. Do so without forsaking your own opinions, beliefs and rights.

There is no doubt I will disagree frequently with Obama's politics but I do respect him and what he accomplished on November 3rd.

Christina said...

I've been thinking about all these comments & responses to Senator Obama's election today, and my own reaction is continuing to evolve.

It occurred to me that perhaps the healing of our nation right now is of more importance than many other issues. The last poll I saw showed President Bush's disapproval rating at 71%. With the majority of American so embittered against him & his party, how could 4 more years of Republican leadership do anything but so entrench & fester that bitterness that...well, there could be no healing. I think that national health required this change. God willing, just by virtue of a Republican NOT being President, we as Americans may see a new wholeness in our midst.

familyman said...

Pack - All the laws you are talking about hardly prove there is no racism in this country. The very fact that we need those laws prove that there is still racism.

When we no longer need any of those laws, then there will not be any racism.

When we elect a Black President and nobody talks about the fact that he's black then I'll say race is no longer an issue in this country.

Andy D said...

I am very confused family. So the very fact that we celebrate the first African American president means we are racist?

familyman said...

Andy, that's so ridiculous I'm just bowing out of this one.

Andy D said...

Sorry Family, I was looking for clarification on what your previous comment was. You said you will believe racism is gone when we elect a Black President and no one talked about his skin color. I took that to mean that celebrating Obama's break through for African Americans shows we are still racists. I really don't mean this as an insult, that is just how I read your comment.

pack04 said...

Familyman- Take a look at the 14th amendment of the US constitution. It was ratified in 1868, 140 years ago. A black person could have ran in the 1868 election. In other words in the eyes to the law there is no difference between white person or black person. In the government there is no racism. In the eyes of human beings there is a difference. Of course there is, we have a country full of many races, cultures, beliefs etc. there are going to be people that disagree and hate. That you cannot change with laws. With that in mind, what more can we do to stop racism? All the laws are out there. How do we change feelings?

MLK said "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." When I see somebody say "he is the first black president," I see that person judging somebody by the color of their skin, just because they say he is black. You see it as us needing a long way to go. That is your opinion, fine, but what exactly is the end of that journey? Kind of sounds like the endless war on terrorism...

What sounds less racist?
The new president of the USA will be Barrack Obama.
The new black president of the USA will be Barrack Obama.

familyman said...

You guys are cracking me up.

In Andy's original post he said that Obama's election is a sign that we are not a racist nation.

The only point I was trying to make is that we should be careful not to confuse a significant step forward in race relations with there being no more racism in this country.

When you get down to the day-to-day lives of average people, I think you'll find there is still a lot of racism apparent in hiring practices, in home lending...

I have a very close friend who is part of a minority group who still gets followed by security when he walks through a store.

Practically everyday I saw or heard at least one interview where some voter would say there was no way they were going to vote for a black guy.

Of COURSE I think we should celebrate the fact that we've elected the first African American as President. Because it is a huge milestone in our journey away from racism.

All I'm saying is that the fact that his African heritage is so note worthy is proof that race is still an issue in this country - laws or no laws.

Someday hopefully race will not be an issue at all and no one will even bother to mention someone's skin color or ethnic background or gender when they are elected President.

That's when we'll be able to say we are the welcoming, all inclusive melting pot we claim to be.

Patrick said...


Been in and out doing things for you guys, but I'm back. Nice post and I also have to add that I actually liked John McCain more after his concession speech. It showed me that he is a great politician.

The entire country should rejoice now, because it feels as if everyone can be involved in any part of the political process now given the qualifications and drive to do so. We live in a country where we are told that anything is possible. Well, that statement just came to fruition. I hope that just by the simple fact of seeing a person of a different complexion in our nation's highest office will inspire all of nation's children to become more involved (and aware)in local, state, and national government affairs to make sure our country is always moving in the right direction.

Everyone's opinion on the right direction can be different, but there are certainly are a lot of similar interests the right and the left share. We all want ourselves and our kids to be safe and secure. We want a steady economy, and low taxes. (Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and pay to keep our freedoms when it's necessary.) But, if we're going to make things any better, we have to stand behind our government and push them along.

I will admit, I wasn't a fan of Bush. But being an American gives me that right. I can disapprove of him, as you can Obama, but still give your support. That will not make you racist or a supremacist in my opinion. You want to make fun of his mannerisms? Be my guest. Bush has his also. But, the second Mr. Chavez made fun of Bush, you'd better believe I was on Bush's side. Just like family, you can talk as bad as you want to about them, but anyone outside the family can't say a word derogatory.

To prevent any further rambling, I'll just say this: The United States of America has come so far in just 44 years. I can't think of the last time a country has made a change that drastic without a bloody overthrow of government. By change, I mean both Barack being black and the change to a Democratic controlled Congress. You should be proud that your voice does matter and that our country and its people can adapt to the changing times. And don't forget, even if you are not happy with Barack's future decisions, the US will hear your voice come the next election.

saint said...

Family- there were probably lots of people who voted against him because he is black. But there were also a lot that voted for him because he is black. It works both ways, and both are equally wrong. Laws will never change hearts and minds. To change those, you need love, understanding, compassion, and mercy.

familyman said...

love, understanding, compassion, and mercy - Amen brother!

Anonymous said...

Saint, I don't think a reasonable person could look at the history of race and power in the U.S. and say simply "it goes both ways."

Dark skinned people have had it much tougher than white skinned people. That's a generalization, yes, but one that is simply demonstrable.

And ongoing prejudice? Unfortunately it's pretty deep-seated. Here's a little online test I recently took that some Harvard researchers have put together. It tests your split second biases for whether you judge "white" or "black" people as "good" or "bad." I'm a pro-civil rights white guy, and a hard-core Obama supporter with lots of African-American friends and an African-American boss, but I still registered significant anti-black prejudice.

pack04 said...

You know I heard a lot more people say they where not voting for McCain because he was old. I heard lots of people saying they were voting for Obama because he was black.

I will completely agree with your statement, "All I'm saying is that the fact that his African heritage is so note worthy is proof that race is still an issue in this country - laws or no laws." You say making it note worthy is a step in the correct direction. I say it does nothing to help us forget about race and actually makes us think about it more.

Question: Why does Major League Baseball get hit so hard for it's lack of black players when the NBA gets nothing said to it for it overwhelming lack of American born white players?

Home lending...explain to me how that is a racist practice?

I think when you get down to the day to day lives, people don't care about racism...they want to get up, get the kids ready, go to work, work hard, come home, play with the kids, watch tv, take the dog for a walk and go to bed.

I think that when somebody says they did not get the job because of their race I think they thought the should get the job because of their race.
It really can go both ways...Can you see the other side of the argument? Can you see any good in our Country?

Andy D said...

I have been thinking of how to respond on this post, but I think I agree with most of the comments Patrick, Saint, and Pack have said.

There will always be racism. As long as there are people, there will be people who discriminate based on some difference. I think few people today put much thought to the color of people's skin.

However, Pack brings up an interesting point, there were a lot of people who didn't vote for McCain because of his age. Should we now start legislating age protection laws?

Personally, I think there are bigger issues for us to address today than trying to legislate how people think and talk. Most opponents of Bush would say that wouldn't work in Iraq, and I don't think it will work here.

saint said...

Anon - I wasn't refering to the "history of race and power in the U.S." I was refering to last Tuesday. And yes, on election day, it did work both ways.

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is that "race" doesn't exist. There's no such thing as "race," biologically speaking. Race is a cultural invention.

(The same person might be considered racially "black" in the U.S., "colored" and "not black" in South Africa, "white" in another African country, and simply "North African" in another country.) There is no such thing as DNA for race. Doesn't exist.

Most of my ancestors are German. Most of my wife's ancestors are from England. Historically, we were considered to be different "races." Today we can see that that's an obvious fiction.

But something like "age" actually does exist. That's why it's ok that there are different age divisions in my mountain biking races. We older guys would get stomped by the young bucks.

Age exists in our bones.
Race exists only in our minds.

Historically "race" has been a powerful fiction. It looks like most of us are hoping to move past it. What some of us are saying, though, is that we shouldn't pretend that people have simply given up believing in the fiction of race. Plenty of people get hurt by belief in the fiction of "race" every day.

Anonymous said...

Saint, point well taken. I agree with you on that.