Today I am very proud to be an American, and particularly proud to be a Virginian. Barack Obama ran on a message of hope and right now I am very hopeful. I hope that the results of this election signals a change in the political discourse in this country. I hope that Obama’s victory means that a candidate can no longer use Rovian style scare tactics to create derision, fear, and disconnect to win an election. I hope this means that Americans finally care about what a nominee has to say about important issues and how they intend to solve the countries problems than anything else. And that simply repeating irrelevant half truths and lies to a crowd to get them riled up will no longer work. I hope that calling someone an elitist, socialist, or possible Muslim is not a viable path to the White House anymore. I hope that this election means that people don’t want to hear about a candidate’s vague semi-relationship with possibly unseemly characters; they want to hear how you’re going to fix the economy or health care.
I hope that Kay Hagan’s victory over Elizabeth Dole in the North Carolina Senate race means that being not Christian enough no longer means you’re unfit for office. Hopefully a solid platform of ideas is more important than which church you attend and what God you worship and that being a non-Christian doesn’t mean you are immoral and corrupt in the eyes of Christian voters. Some of the greatest minds in our countries history added the separation of church and state into the constitution for a reason. The gap in that separation has been closing dramatically and I hope that the results of this election start to widen it again.
I hope that once almost universally respected politicians like John McCain and Elizabeth Dole no longer have to lower themselves into the muck to appeal to the lowest common denominator of their base. I hope that intelligent debate can finally prevail over rhetoric aimed at the ignorant.
John McCain gave a gracious and eloquent concession speech last night. It was beautifully moving in its message that serving ones country and a spirit of comprise should take precedence over partisanship. The funny thing about that speech is that had that been his message all along he may have won this election. Instead he ran to the right, unleashed that lunatic Sarah Palin to ignite a base and the rest is history. I hope that the message of his speech takes hold and that he goes back to the Senate to lead that charge. I fear that it will not. Several times throughout his speech McCain had to pause, while talking about the need to work with the new president to make positive change, to let a round of boos die down. At one point a man in the crowd yelled, “You deserved better.” He was absolutely right. John McCain did deserve better. He deserved to not have to lower himself to appeal to a person like that.