I am unbelievably tired and my head is throbbing like I'm a timpani drum in a Sousa march. Though I stayed up late last night because I was happy and excited, today has been a fairly arduous one; that final celebratory cocktail didn't help. Ah well, I truly feel proud today. Proud of our electorate, proud of our President, proud that the egregious amount of money infused into the campaigns didn't buy the hoped-for outcomes, proud that gay rights were celebrated.
I also feel relieved. Relieved that the ads and debates and talking points and fabrications will now subside, at least for a while. Relieved that Obama will get another four years to help our country. Relieved that scary candidates like Akin and Mourdock lost. Relieved that I won't have to live in fear that one of the more moderate->liberal Supreme Court justices will retire.
As I'm sure you've seen, there has been an avalanche of commentary today about the future of the GOP: was this a death-knell election? are they freaking out and about to implode? which arm will emerge as the party leader?
I don't know, but what I do hope, more than almost anything, is that truth and fact will become valued again, lauded, strived for, expected, demanded. As Moynihan once said, "you're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts." Our country has simply got to deal with some very real challenges: climate change, our dependence on dirty energy, education in the U.S., healthcare, what we're doing and why internationally. These issues are too serious, too big, too great for our elected officials to spend any more time ignoring. The Republicans' primary goal cannot be what Mitch McConnell opined last time around: to make Obama a one-term president. That he and his party ever suggested that goal was more important than helping our citizens lead healthy lives, obtain education, make ends meet...well, it's shameful. It's beyond shameful.
They have got to start taking responsibility for the ways in which they've obstructed progress and equality in this country. No, the Democrats are not perfect. Not at all. Obama isn't either, but there just isn't any compare with the ways the GOP has held us back or turned us backwards.
We have much to be proud of but there is an awe-inspiring -in the terrifying sense- amount of work to be done. It will require that adults, not petulant bullies, truly engage in conversation with those from across the aisle. It will require compromise and negotiation, give and take, a willingness to stand in another's shoes, NOT unyielding and angry stances of disrespect and disdain.
I am hopeful.