Saturday, November 08, 2008

It’s a good day to be an American.

On Tuesday we voted and early Wednesday morning there was a tangible difference in the streets. I was lucky to be in New York City on election eve, sitting with some old friends watching the returns come in. The next day John Stewart on his Daily Show made a joke that he was afraid someone was going to ask him home for pie. People were looking each other in the eye on the streets of New York, in the subways and coffee shops, registering joy and relief and maybe a little disbelief. It was all so fresh as to be a little unbelievable that Obama was actually elected – and soundly. John McCain made a conciliatory speech displaying the patriotism that has been his hallmark, encouraging people to come together to solve the mammoth problems we face. I hope his supporters took his words to heart because little will be accomplished if the country isn’t united. Nearly half of the country voted for McCain and I suspect many of them were voting against Obama. We are still a country divided but the challenges we face are so fierce that nothing short of genuine cooperation is going to permit us to succeed in dealing with the recession, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the environmental crisis and the glaring inequality of wealth that has intensified over the last twenty years.

Today we have earned a moment of celebration: Tomorrow we must begin rebuilding.