Having spent the last eight years as an "other," I'm really not sure what to do today. Jennifer and I have spent most of the last eight years being told we hated America and that we were Un-American and that we were terrorists for disagreeing with George Bush and his plans (or lack there of).
For the last eight years, Republicans have been throwing around the word "mandate," which supposedly meant they had the right to do whatever they want with the country and constitution. What we saw last night was the American people saying enough- no more will we continue to allow a President to run wild through the world with false information. No more will we allow an administration to terrorize us into doing their bidding and believe their "patriotic" mantras.
But Facebook today is filled with those that wish a Socialist America well with our Socialist President. "I can't believe it!" says one person, going on to say just how sad they are that America would allow a big goverment to get bigger under Obama. Somehow, they've forgotten that it was a Republican that made it larger over the last eight years.
My wife says I should be kind- I should be above the partisanship that has been going on in this country that the Republicans have basically been waving at all of us. She's quite right: I should manage to be better than them, be the bigger person- the better person.
And while I really want to be, I feel that the Left has endured so much crap over the last eight years that perhaps the Right deserves a little of its own medicine, splashed back in their faces with a hearty laugh. Perhaps the Right should hear that if they don't support President Obama, they are Un-American and hate America and want to see the terrorists take over. Perhaps the Right ought to hear that by saying no to health care (which the last few months has pretty much wiped out- so thanks for that, George & Co.!) that THEY hate America and that we, the Left, are the bearers now of all things American and that Progressivism is the mandate this country has asked for.
But maybe I don't have to. With a seven million vote buffer in the popular vote, perhaps Americans are just plain tired of the same Republican games. Maybe Americans have decided for themselves what they consider American. Maybe the this election was a referendum, not of President Bush, but of the McCarthy-esque calls for "Communist!" Maybe America is moving into the 21st century.
But how can we not? Look around: Europe is coming back big. China and the East are our saviors in this financial crisis. We as Americans are falling behind. We're blowing all kinds of money on things, but still cannot manage to help with the basic necessities in life (health, education, etc.). And in this, the Republicans have been holding us back.
The last eight years, it seems, are the final pulses of 20th Century America. We can finally say that America no longer needs to lead with bombs and guns- we can lead with influence and not bullets. We can move on to the next phase of being Americans, and while I believe we're no longer a Super Power, that doesn't mean the world can't look to us as a beacon for freedom and a model for justice.
During the last eight years, we lost that, but hopefully President Obama can help us with our world standing. And while some parts of America claim they could care less for how others feel about us, many on the Left believe this is the first step towards combating global terrorism. Instead of bombing people into not hating us, maybe we can start giving people a reason to like us. Maybe if terrorists had a reason to like us, they would stop trying to hurt us.
I actually spent a few minutes today feeling bad for Barack Obama: he's fighting an uphill battle due to the ditch that the Republicans have been digging for the last eight years, and the six before that as they controlled Congress. President Obama is starting off in a position of losing in that there's pretty much no way he can succeed with all the things he wants to do because he is starting a half mile back from the starting line. And instead of being aware of this, the Republicans will attempt to take advantage of it in 2010 and 2012. They will say he's done nothing in his four years as President, but he's been given nothing to work with. George Bush and the Republicans have all but destroyed America. Not physically, but in pretty much every other way, America has regressed or been stalled from moving forward. Obama's going to have a hard road for the next four, and God-willing, eight years.
But we ought to be gracious. The past is just that. George Bush, in 70-some odd days will be put out to pasture. Rather than blaming him for all our modern ills, we should forget them and move forward.
He was, after all, sooo last century (or close enough).