The Election is Over: Now What?

November 5, 2008

democratic_presidential_candidate_barack_obama_speaks_in_virginia

The election is over and we learned the results much quicker than I had anticipated. Senator McCain gave an excellent and thoughtful concession speech and President Elect Obama spoke powerfully about change, hope, possibility and unification.

“Somewhere in the universe a gear in the machinery shifted,” activist Eldgridge Cleaver said of the 2008 election. Most weighing in on the Obama victory, the Democrat House and Senate victories and the overall success of a new and powerful multicultural, progressive political power base say that regardless of what happens, history has been made and the old style of GOP politics that have held power for most of the last half century is over.

I’m very happy that Democrats won significant seats in both the House and the Senate during this election–with proper Democratic leadership I feel that we can see an arrival of a new era of Progressive Politics in the tradition of Clinton, FDR and Teddy Roosevelt. I’m happy that Obama has been working to assemble a bi-partisan, intelligent and multi-cultural team of advisors to aid in this new era.
I hope that conservatives heed McCain’s advise. He plans to do all that he can to support and help Obama and this country face the struggles ahead; some GOP and conservatives have acknowledged that they would follow suit, but of course the blowhards like Rush Limbaugh are already scrambling to spew their ignorance and anger at the nation’s choice. It is important all politicians and citizens work together to address the drastic problems and issues ahead of us– wars, the environment, the economy and our freedoms, choices and civil rights.

It’s worth noting that ballot issues up for votes in relation to abortion resulted in overwhelming pro-choice votes. This nation has upheld and spoken loudly in their support of a woman’s right to choose and the request that there be the absence of government presence during that private and difficult decision. Not a single anti-abortion bill passed during this election.
Marijuana issues across states resulted in a 12th state legalizing medicinal marijuana, and in Massachusetts the citizens voted to decriminalize the private possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana– so now, if someone is “busted” for marijuana possession in New Hampshire they will have to “surrender” their marijuana to the police and pay a $100 fine. Hopefully these are steps towards a more intelligent and realistic national drug policy as well as prison reform.
The world had already weighed in on what they think of Obama. Every nation other than Germany and Israel (who both supported McCain) spoke out overwhelmingly in favor of Obama and saw his election as a huge step forward for our nation and also for restoring a positive image of America to the world and repairing diplomatic relations.

Sadly, one thing that didn’t come through in a positive manner on election day was homosexual equality rights. A bill in California passed banning gay marriage. The thousands of legal gay marriages that have already taken place in California will remain valid, but officials noted that those couples may face legal issues of some form in the future. Every bill dealing with gay rights came back negatively, ranging from adoption rights for gay couples to gay marriage bans in multiple states. So, as we finally make the steps in the right direction in regards to racial civil rights and equality, we as a nation still have miles to go in recognizing that all people, of all races, genders, religions and sexual orientations deserve the exact same human and political rights.
So, I hope you educated yourselves and voted. I hope your happy (or at least willing to deal) with the outcome. I hope that we as a nation can move forward. I also hope we keep realistic. As one commentator truly said earlier today, “he’s not a messiah,” and Obama is not. We need to realize he’s human and he’s a politician and that he can’t fix everything. All progress will take time, too. Many are ready to see instant change once Obama takes office, and that’s highly unlikely. It will take time to notice progress and it will take time for things to fall into place, so hopefully we will all realize that and have patience.

If you’re a regular reader to my blog, I will give you a brief heads up on what to expect in future articles. I plan to try and give politics a bit of a break for awhile (that is unless something outrageous occurs). The next “Christianity And…” piece will arrive soon, this one will be “Christianity and Hell,” and it will focus on alternative viewpoints and beliefs in regards to what Christianity actually teaches about “Hell.” Another religious piece is in the works and it’s in response to some of Bishop Spong’s books, specifically “Resurrection: Myth or Reality?” and a concept he speaks of in that book that I had been previously unaware of–the concept of “Midrash,” a Jewish writing and scripture-reading technique that relies heavily on symbolism and myth and which Spong claims the Gospel writers to have engaged in. Not too long from now, my “Year in Review” pieces will appear as December comes and passes: my top ten lists of the best in Music Albums and singles of 2008, Books, Films, and Comics, so check back soon.

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