"Our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men."
Those prophetic words were spoken in 1974 by a Republican president, Gerald Ford. He said that in a famous speech upon the resignation of former President Richard Nixon, who led the most corrupt administration in American history. The same could perhaps be said of the very times we now live in. We usher out the nasty, angry, arrogant and divisive politics of George W. Bush, and replace it with the promise of proactive, positive and much more inclusive change. Hatred is being replaced by hope.
Granted, President Bush is still in office, a lame duck until January 20. But the American people have named his successor, and a very good one at that. In just over two months, we will welcome President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to the White House. Furthermore, the Democrats will add to their numbers in the House and Senate, going a long way in repairing this country and its reputation around the world. And its all because of you.
Wow. Just plain wow.
Thank you, America.
Of course, mere words cannot describe of the historical magnitude of Obama's victory. Only four decades separated from days of Jim Crow laws in southern states, we now have an African-American president. That's truly amazing, and something I thought wouldn't occur for at least another decade or two, if ever. But it is reality, and I couldn't be happier.
Obama's feat is especially a victory for people-powered democracy. From the very beginning, the seemingly longshot Obama campaign eschewed the typical way of fundraising, which consisted mostly of competing with Hillary Clinton for donations from party sugardaddies. Clinton turned out to be the beneficiary of many of those. Obama's campaign took a different approach. Taking an idea from darkhorse Democratic candidate (and current party chairman) Howard Dean in 2004, they opted for an aggressive high-tech grassroots strategy. Early in the campaign, Obama made a pitch to a group consisting of some of the hottest tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Internet gurus from companies like Google and Yahoo! were in attendance. Obama and his campaign masterminds presented their plan. They wanted to run a true 21st century campaign, harnessing the power of the internet to create a massive volunteer-heavy apparatus, with an interactive web presence and ground operations in all states. The approach would even encourage a true 50-state campaign, encompassing even states that seemingly would never go in the Democrats' favor. The dot-com crowd was hooked. They saw a candidate as innovative and cutting-edge as they were. One of the founders of the social networking site Facebook even joined the campaign to help set up Obama's web infrastructure.
And they pulled in money in ways nobody would have imagined probable. While many campaigns snicker at donations smaller than $50, a mere $5 donation was just as good for them. It all added up in the long run. The end result was the biggest war chest of any politician in American history, with more than half of all donations coming from small donors. Republicans have attacked Obama for the size of his coffers and his heavy spending throughout the campaign, but they're really just envious, mostly afraid to admit how exactly he pulled in all that money and ground support. It came directly from the people. And it is an approach that will be analyzed and imitated by many in the future. Obama rewrote the book.
This turning tide means one other very big thing: The American people are sick and tired of silly games. They're sick of insults. They're sick of dirty politics. They're sick of watching the economy go down the crapper. The neoconservative movement that typifies much of the modern-day Republican Party is now dead, along with the cruel tricks of unsavory people like former Bush political svengali Karl Rove. The American people have returned to reality. They want real solutions, not jingoism, not tacky photo-ops, not faux patriotism, not divisive red-blue rhetoric. They want to make an America for all people, a country as great as it possibly can be.
Obviously, Obama will not be taking a casual stroll through the park by way of the Oval Office during the next four years. It's gonna be a brutal job, and he strongly admits that. We are living in tough times. The economy is a mess. The deficit has risen to a level even greater than during the Reagan Administration. We are also fighting two wars. In short, he has his work cut out for him. But after becoming familiar with Obama over the past year, and seeing his intelligence, confidence and savvy, I feel very comfortable with our new president. We are in good hands.
Barack Obama's victory is a monster step forward for what can be accomplished in the United States of America. Yes, it is indeed a great day to be an American.
Congratulations, President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden. And the best of luck to you.