If I may be permitted to borrow a title from the annals of history it is because I feel it is absurdly appropriate to the situation we find ourselves in. Although the dust has yet to settle, what we have witnessed tonight will go down as a paradigm shift in history. Numerous commentators more wise than I have referred to Obama as the first post-60's candidate, or a postmodern candidate . While this is certainly significant in terms of historical lineage I believe it is tangential to what might be termed a landslide victory.
The battle that (hopefully) concluded four hours ago with John McCain's concession speech was the struggle for the political doctrine of this nascent century where the Axelrod message of unity, hope and constructive contribution eclipsed the ever darkening Rovian tactics of division and fear. After the news began to sink in I realized what I was feeling might have been akin to my parents reactions in 1960. This is not a coincidence. Although some might draw parallels between the oratory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Barack Hussein Obama, it is worth noting that the vein of bile and fear that Karl Rove so successfully tapped into was in most part originated by Richard Nixon. The moral of the story seems to be that while negativism is unfortunately successful in small doses there is an invisible fulcrum beyond which our nation realizes its error. While this balance may continuously shift over the centuries tonight affirms the core philosophy of the American psyche drawn from Rosie the Riveter through Obama's acceptance speech: We can do it!
The second point will hopefully serve as a warning to all aspiring politicians. NEVER totally compromise your beliefs to ascend to power. This would obviously be hypocritical and unethical, but the events of November 5th 2008 prove that it is ultimately unsuccessful. John McCain has made great sacrifices for our country through his years of military service and his political career. It seems his achilles heel was his failure to both select and exercise control over his advisors and associates. From the days of the Keating Five to the disastrous selection of Sarah Palin this flaw has been magnified to tragic proportions. In the last six months McCain lost control over his own policy to the extent that sources from The Economist to the Chicago Tribune were forced to take note.
While this election doesn't immediately provide solutions to the myriad of problems facing our nation, I can only hope that through considered bipartisan examination and deliberation the new administration may set an example for years to come of a successful political strategy that will correct our failings and engage the best of our national spirit and ability for the good of our country and our planet.
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