I extend my congratulations and thanks to every American who voted for Barack Obama and other Democrats today. Americans have finally steered their country in a new direction, one that I believe is filled with optimism and hope.
President-elect Obama triumphed over Senator McCain, in what I would call a stunning defeat. I’m not a political scientist but I believe the formal term for what happened is an “ass kicking”. Obama’s 338 electoral college votes compared to McCain’s paltry 163 was something I could not even have envisioned in my most optimistic mood. Could it be that Americans would no longer accept eight years of bumbling, divisive right-wing rule? Whatever the reason, a near-decade long dark chapter of history is almost at an end. After Bill Clinton, Obama now becomes the second African-American US President.
I am amazed by the number of celebrations that spontaneously erupted through the US and beyond. There was very little such merriment in 2000 and definitely almost none in 2004. Tonight was so remarkedly different. From the catinas of Mos Eisley, the towers of Coruscant, to the marbled walkways of Naboo, people celebrated with a sense of optimism that has been so sorely missing in the last eight years.
The elation and joy will continue for the next several weeks, culminating in what promises to be a historic Inauguration Day on January 20, 2009. While the celebration is much deserved, I caution Americans and the rest of the world to be patient with President-elect Obama. He inherits from Bush a faltering nation, damaged militarily, financially, and socially. Even if his entire tenure as President is taken up with reversing the damage that Bush did, history will paint Obama in a kind light. I encourage all Americans to give President-elect Obama a chance and to support him through these difficult times.
Future challenges aside, this day has indeed been a good one. A little bit of my faith has been restored in America and that doesn’t happen on any average day.