More Important Than “Making History”

Posted: 2008-11-05 in General
Tags: , , , , , ,

(Written last night, as the votes were tallied)

I've been sitting here in front of the television since about 7 PM, and I can't tear my eyes away from all the election coverage.  There's something oddly gripping about watching the numbers come in while the news anchors all expound on what they mean in a never-ending round-robin of projections, exit-polls, and small talks.

My first presidential election wasn't all that long ago – I didn't turn 18 until the summer of '97, so my first experience with the electoral process was the bizarre and oh-so-mind-bogglingly complex election of 2000.  Needless to say, I voted for Gore and was more than a little bit soured on the whole process as I watched the preliminary results roll in, only to come down to hanging chads and Supreme Court decisions over the vote recounts in Florida.  The 2004 election wasn't much better, what with the depressing thought of 4 more years of Dubya stretching out ahead of me as it became apparent that Kerry was not going to be able to pull out a win over the incumbent.  Third time had to be a charm, right?

This campaign season has been one of the most divisive things I've ever seen hit the U.S.  People around me pretty much stopped talking politics entirely because people were so polarized on the issues/candidates that discussion faltered and tempers flared before points could be discussed.  However, this election has also been one of the most inspirational things I've ever seen, with incredible numbers of new voters joining in, and many people finally taking the time to learn about their candidates and their policies.

I have no problem with people having dissenting opinions – that fosters discussion, education, and communication that can lead to improvements in all areas.  What I have a problem with is ignorance, apathy, and all the things that stifle progress and the improvement of everything around us.  Those are some of the things I've seen start to disappear in this election season, and I can only hope that they continue to be eradicated in the years to come. 

Yes, Barack Obama has made history.  But in my mind, continuing to work on developing an educated, thinking, and socially responsible public is something so vitally important that after we finish taking a few minutes to look backwards and pat our collective selves on the back, we need to look forward, past making history to making changes that we can be happy to live with, and that our children will be proud to see occurred in our lifetimes.

[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #5/30]

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  1. spucko says:

    You are right. Now the real work begins, for all of us.


  2. mariser says:

    how right you are, ross. 'tis sweet to congratulate and celebrate ourselves, but now we need to get behind the mule and go to the work that needs done.


  3. Budd says:

    I see the United States becoming more polarized with every election. I am happy to say that I am still 100%. I have never voted for a presidential winner. I can continue complaining for the next 4 years.


  4. grrrace says:

    so much work to be done! but this is such a step in the right direction…


  5. Red Pen says:

    Cheers to looking forward, making change happen, and forging a better future.


  6. IG says:

    This is not a sports event and we're not spectators–or we shouldn't be. There's work to be done–by us. Good post.


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