Oddly enough, I’m a lot less depressed about tonight’s election outcome that I assumed I’d be with these results. While I wish things had gone differently, I am actually feeling a lot of positive thoughts and emotions. And since no, I am not drunk, I don’t believe that I’ve just gone up Denial River without a paddle.
I feel like I did my duty, gave it my best fight along with my Republican friends, and simply came up short… this time. I actually feel very proud right now, and very much at peace.
Here are some thoughts. Make of them what you will.
As a member of the minority party, I can no longer be held responsible for hurricanes, infant mortality, market downturns, acne, the various foul moods of the European or Arab street, or the actions of every two-bit dictator across the globe.
We have lost political power–for now. But unlike how it would be in much of the world, that doesn’t mean that we’ll be mounting the scaffolds tomorrow morning. We’ll wake up tomorrow, warm in our beds, surrounded by our families, and go about our daily business. Despite my feelings about these election results, I still feel enormous pride at how our nation allows for a peaceful transition of power. This is still the greatest country on earth, and we will still be there to defend her AND our ideals in the future.
It is an honor to hold power, but it is also a deep and often troubling responsibility that doesn’t always win you friends. The majority of the American people have decided to give us a vacation from this responsibility and try something new. I respect their decision, and have to say that part of me is glad for the respite. This gives us a chance to regroup and come back stronger. more energized, and more focused in the future. If we fail to rise to that occasion we will neither achieve nor deserve reassuming power in the future. I believe that we are more than equal to the challenge.
I do not believe that Barack Obama will be a good or even adequate president. My hunch. But for the sake of the country, I hope he succeeds. I believe that NOW (and for the next few months), he deserves good will, and I for one will give it to him. Not because of himself, but because of the office he will hold. I refuse to behave towards him as Democrats, including Barack Obama himself, behaved towards George Bush. Even if that would be effective politically, it’s not worth the cost to our hearts and minds. God forbid any of us should become like Markos Moulitsas or Keith Olbermann, blinded by hate and slobbering down our chins. There’s more to life than the intoxication of political power and the resentment of those who hold it when we do not.
America is a great country, filled with wonderful people. There is no equal anywhere of this concentration of talented, generous, and honorable men and women. I’m very proud of our country, and I know that like you, I can only hope the best for it. When the call to service comes again, I know that you and I will be there to answer it. And that call is coming again very soon.
Tonight we bow our heads. Tomorrow we lick our wounds, and then stand up for we believe and know is worth fighting for–just as we have always done and just like we did during this election.