And the World Holds its Breath: Election Day

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Two years is a lifetime to wait for change. But finally the day is upon us. From eighteen. To two. To ONE.

Many of us have been waiting longer than 2 years. Much longer. Sometimes patiently, and sometimes with tremendous urgency, we waited for a sign, some moment in time that would begin to ease the weight of the past years transgressions, and begin to move us to a better place. I remember that moment for me back in 2004 where there was a whiff of hope, a suggestion that things could truly be different, and better.

“.. alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people.

If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child.

If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent.

If there’s an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief — it is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work.

It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: “E pluribus unum,” out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.

There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?”

So here we are on this final day. And the world is holding its breath, watching us, waiting to see what will happen next.

Do they wonder if we will elect our first African-American president?


Do they wonder if our next president will finally bring the war in Iraq to a close?


Do they wonder if our next president will lead the way on the issues that matter most in this new century, like terrorism, poverty and climate change?


They wonder if we will choose hope.


Post by ILO on 11/04/08 at 2:31 am