Embrace Election Results in Howard County and the USA

I am a registered Republican - one of few in Howard County - because I am a person who believes in fiscal responsibility and that the role of government is to bring us together to solve common problems that we cannot solve on our own. I am socially liberal and think that Americans can best be served by a government that can provide them with base-level acceptable standards of living. It's a tough position to hold given the divisive and poisonous partisan politics in this country.

Republicans and Democrats cannot seem to come together to find sensible solutions to common problems. This campaign seemed, in many ways, to represent that divide more than the elections that resulted in George W. Bush as our 43rd President for two terms.

Tonight's result of the election of Barack Obama as President-elect of the United States will hopefully lead to a mending of that division. While this country may now shift center-left, almost 50% of this country is center or right. We citizens must remember this as we move forward, and I implore our elected officials to do the same.

At the same time, Republicans centrists such as myself have to realize that this election also presented a stark contrast within our own party. We could see it in the ticket that represented our party. John McCain and Sarah Palin could not agree on how to run an election and neither could factions of opinion within the Grand Old Party.

John McCain could not decide if he was the Maverick of 2000, or the man we see now. If the man that delivered his concession speech tonight was the same guy who ran for the last 21 months, perhaps this election would have been closer and the country better off for having heard a well-articulated alternative to the eventual winner.

Centrists can enrich this two-sided discussion. We have ideas, too, that can contribute to the American political and policy debate. Perhaps now really is the time to claim some legitimacy in the American political landscape. Maybe people like me should combine our minds and our ideals, and find a place at the table. It is my hope that, one day, I would not be branded by a letter next to my name, but rather welcomed to the discussion because of the capabilities and thoughts that I have.

I wish President-elect Obama the absolute best because I do feel that he represents many of the things that this country needs and craves. I hope, too, that he has learned from the recent history of the Clinton administration and by the results of this election that progress requires compromise and earnest debate. I believe that President-elect Obama has the wisdom and judgment to know this and to govern accordingly.

The reality is that this country will face challenges way larger than the election of a single man to one office. Our nation faces a deep set of challenges, and the solutions to them will require the contributions of millions. If we can commit as a nation to facing these challenges with humble minds, pure hearts, and endless devotion to a greater cause, then we will be better off than we are today. We can do it. The United States has always been a nation that has found a way. Again, we will find a way as a country to grow and prosper and shine to the world as an example of what can be. Yes, we may disagree on the antidote, but we will cure what ails us because we have to do so.

As a nation, for our survival, we must overcome our problems. And we will. We will.

Congratulations to Senators Obama, Biden, McCain, and Governor Palin. Our country is richer for the debate that this campaign spurred. With great hope, I believe that this country will grow even stronger for the result.


Anonymous said...

Who wrote this? It's really very good.

Ryan Ballengee said...

Haha, I did. No, really.