Saturday, November 8, 2008

Letter to Democrats

Dear fellow Obama supporters,

We did it. Some of you did more to make it happen than others, and I salute you. If you put your money where your mouth is, or if you made calls, knocked on doors, organized, fund raised, or even simply wrote discursive blogs attempting to show why Obama should prevail, I extend an extra special thanks. This was an emotional and historic event and we can finally take a moment to step back, breathe and enjoy.

Done yet? No? Too bad. There's work to be done. Trying to win an election is an easily identifiable goal that's exciting, energizing and, mercifully, comes with a concluding date. Less exciting, however, is trying to solve the amorphous problems of poverty, the environment, the economy, and global terrorism, problems which have no obvious conclusion to work toward, and problems whose "solutions" will not be near as satisfying as last Tuesday night's victory. While we hope for the best, progress comes incrementally and often in ways we can't immediately ascertain or appreciate. Stay vigilant. In the end, while electing your candidate of choice is an important step to progress, what matters is what happens next. If there's enough passion and energy left after this arduous campaign, redirect it toward volunteerism, charity, and keeping our government honest, transparent and on-task.

Also, remember how miserable it felt to have Bush in the White House these last eight years? How angry we would get at the smugness of those in power? How infuriating it was to deal with conservatives who, in our eyes, were drunk on the Kool-Aid of lies and hypocrisy and would question our patriotism for daring to question unquestioned power? Remember that? Try not to let those bitter memories poison our actions toward our fellow Americans. McCain/Palin won over 57 million votes and if there's any hope for a more unified country, it's going to rely, in part, on our being role models over the next four to eight years. Let's not make excuses if and when our leaders falter. Let's not ignore the truth. Let's deal in reality, not fiction. Let's treat the "other" side not as we felt we were treated, but as we wished we had been treated.

We won. But as President Bartlett from The West Wing would always ask, "what's next?"


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