2008 US Presidential Results
It’s one week later and the dust is settling down. I’m happy to say that most Americans voted with hope, not fear. Despite worries of voter fraud or voter suppression (depending on who you were listening to), Obama had the clear victory in both the popular and electoral votes. It’s hard to say whether this is a mandate or not (Bush claimed a mandate in 2004 with a mere 51% of the vote), but there is no doubt who won in 2008.
That was 7 days ago, and a lot has happened since.
In the past week, Obama has hit the ground running naming staff and outlining ideas; the GOP blame game blazed brightly especially around Palin; and many are wondering why Obama can’t just go ahead and take over from President Lame Duck.
We Voted for Change!
A week and a day ago, I was at Obama’s last rally at the Prince William County Fair Grounds in Manassas, VA. It took 3 hours to make the 25 mile drive and then 2 hours to get back. With a nasty head cold, I stood in a freezing field with 80,000+ other human beings for 2 hours. Obama was late, and we had to sit through really bad jokes from some state politicians. It was totally worth it!
Obama’s speech was the most inspiring public event I have ever personally attended. Although mostly taken from his stump speech (which I probably know better than Obama by now), he ended with a great story that I had not heard. It was abut a city councilwoman he had met in South Carolina who showed him how to get motivated even on the worst of days. All 80,000+ people leaving the rally were using her chant “Fired up, ready to go”.
The next day, after voting and a quick coffee with my wife, I went out and spent the next 4 hours canvasing with my new friend Tom (whom I had just met in the Obama offices in Herndon). Going door-to-door with a list of Obama supporters, we checked if they had voted, and offered them a ride to the polls if not.
That night, I had several close friends over for an Obama Victory party. My wife’s criteria for invitation to this event: “They have to be willing to bear his children.” We were not looking for anyone who was not enthusiastic. That evening ended well.
Now, a weekÂ on, and I have to wonder: what of the GOP? Will the Republican Party come back from this? Is there really a GOP anymore? Many Republican’s I talked with didn’t vote for Obama, but neither did they vote for McCain. For a variety of reasons, they do not feel he represents the party they joined. Cultural conservatives and fiscal conservatives have always made for strange bedfellows, and that finally came home with this election. If anything cost the Republicans in this election, it was the “Southern Strategy” started by Richard Nixon and perpetuated by every Republican since then.
Personally, I do not want a one party rule in this country, even if I agree (mostly) with that party. But then again, I don’t really like the two party system either (I always point out that that’s only one more choice than the Russians had under Communist rule).
My hope is that from the wreckage of the 2008 GOP there might come two separate parties to better represent those constituencies. We’ll see.
For myself, with the election over, I need to turn my attention to the backlog of other projects I have. webbedENVIRONMENTS will not be going on hiatus, rather I will be slowing down my publishing schedule. I’m currently working on a new Web design book, Speaking in Styles: a CSS Primer for Web Designers, and will be writing more on my new site www.writing-in-styles.com.
However, I will still be talking politics, culture, technology and science issues in webbedENVIRONMENTS. This will especially be important as I get ready for my Comics Panel at SXSW and Yuri’s Night. Stay tuned!