The country finally has a new president. During the long, campaign captured months, the American public has been subject to endless debates, ads and political stumping. The media were bombarded with images, stories and rumors about the presidential candidates, their running mates and all of their families.
The primaries started last year, after months and months of gossip swirling about potential presidential nominations. The candidates began tearing each other down almost immediately. The country was forced to divide once again into red and blue states. Families, friends, and even we here at the Campus Times, were separated by our opinions.
The debates were filled with passion, and all of us have argued over our own beliefs. But instead of banding together over the hope of a new president and a new future, we were on opposite sides of a growing rift.
The election became increasingly negative with attack ads frequenting television and radio broadcasts. There were mixed messages abounding, and it was often disheartening to see the separate campaigns rip each other into shreds.
After all of this fighting and struggling, we now have a winner. Barack Obama will be the 44th president of the United States. Because of this historic election, this country will see the first African American president.
While this is an incredible achievement for a country founded on democracy and equality, race has nothing to do with what we will need in order to move forward as a nation.
During John McCain’s concession speech, several attendees booed whenever Obama’s name was mentioned. While McCain tried to discourage his moody audience from being negative, our country was reminded of the great divide still present even after the ballot results. There needs to be no more booing (figuratively and literally) with this new administration.
The country needs to band together and form a strong and supportive environment. How will we ever move on and repair our country if we do not recognize the dire need for doing so?
In Obama’s acceptance speech, he noted that not everyone will agree about his election, but he encouraged Republicans and Democrats alike to embrace the idea of a new future for our country, and throw out the resentments that might be present.
This is indeed the action that needs to be taken—no matter whom you supported in the election, you should accept that this country has much work to do to get back to glory.
We are in an economic recession—jobs and homes have been lost; we are involved in two wars, and social issues are at stake. We have no choice but to acknowledge these deficits, and make plans to fix them.
It actually doesn’t matter that Obama won—the job would still have needed to be done if John McCain had succeeded in his campaign.
We can always wish for campaigns with less negativity and shorter periods of time with candidates not pitched at each other’s throats. But, sadly, this is the way political campaigns are conducted these days. What we can change in the future is how we embrace the new president, and how we can impact the growth and development of our great country. The change begins now.