Today, November 4, 2008, the 44th President of the United States was chosen by both the popular vote and the electoral college, and while final results won’t be available for hours or even days to come, it would seem as though Barack Obama has won by a large margin. Mainstream media would have you believe that this election was sinificant simply because Barack Obama is the first African-American to run and subseuently win the highest political office in this great nation. From what I’ve seen, this is only a small part of the victory for America and democracy.
The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, Barack Obama has, to date, had a very short political career as the junior senator from Illinois. But, today, he has defeated the more experienced John McCain in what many are calling a landslide victory, including wins in the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa, offering proof that Amerca is ready for change. This alone is a great victory for the United States.
In my eyes, though, the bigger win is what I saw over the last ten days everywhere I looked. I saw people articulately voicing arguments for both sides. I saw people young and old extolling their right to vote and claiming that they had or would vote in this election – many for the first time. Democracy and the American flag were held proudly as what would make America strong in the years to come. This, for me, was the bigger victory and the one that I am most proud of today.
Today is the first day of the rest of Obama’s career, and I am hopeful that he will prove himself worthy of the trust Americans have put in him. Regardless, though, I can rest easy knowing that Americans are prepared to rally and speak for what they believe in. This is a great country and I am proud to be a citizen.
In 2000, for the fourth time in history, the winner of the popular vote didn’t win the electoral college or the Presidency, resulting in George W. Bush being elected President of the United States. Very few are talking about this as a possibility in the upcoming election, but as MSNBC reports, some observers are beginning to wonder – could it happen again?
Their article, and other like it, go on to suggest that perhaps McCain is using the electoral college and campaigning to win in the places that would matter enough to allow him a chance of taking the 270 electoral votes necessary. Fortunately, the mathematical experts are suggesting that it’s very unlikely that a split vote could happen, while at the same time admitting that the polls are only so accurate.
By all accounts, Barack Obama is a new-comer in politics and lacks any real experience in government. Some say this makes him a bad candidate. Most established politicians say this makes him unqualified. Not surprisingly, the majority of Americans seem to have their own opinion on whether Barack Obama is qualified and capable of running the United States of America.
Yet, there are others, that feel differently but are still voting for Barack. A die-hard democrat, grade school teacher that I talked to told me that she isn’t voting for Obama because he’s qualified or the right person to lead the country; she’s voting for Obama because she doesn’t want to see McCain/Palin in office and a yes vote for Obama is a no vote for McCain.
Interesting perspective to say the least, but looking at the records it begs the question of how many Americans are feeling the same way – as though neither candidate is outstanding, but the one they’ve picked is the lesser of two evils and ultimately who they’re going to vote for. It’s definitely a sad day for America when voting Americans aren’t voting for who they want to see in office but against who they don’t.