Thursday, November 8, 2012

Yes We Can

My favorite part of the election: immediately after it's over. Yes, I know everyone is happy when it's over. No more political TV ads, phone calls, junk mail, debates, facebook statuses....no more unknown. However, what I'm talking about is right after the election, when we put the dividedness of the campaign behind us and come together to make a decision. Once that decision is made, it feels, at least for a short moment, like we can stand together as one nation. So that's my favorite part....right after the votes are counted and the winner is announced....the election night presidential speech. I don't care who you vote for or who wins, these speeches are inspiring.

Inspiring because we are reminded that while we have many different opinions, beliefs, backgrounds, dreams, and political views, we are still one united nation. One nation practicing and putting into action our democracy and our freedom, then coming together to support each other, our leaders, and our country.

In his first speech in 2008, President Obama quoted President Lincoln,
As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection."

No matter who you voted for in this election, I hope you can appreciate that without coming together we can never move forward. Like most Americans, I have been scared for the future and concerned about the effectiveness of our system. There are many flaws, but there is also room to change and grow and move in a new direction, as we have for centuries. Obama said in 2008, "while we breathe, we hope," and while I continue to hope and pray for change, I also hope and pray that this country can stand together and support each other and our leaders, and continue to press them to make the right decisions.

Whether you like him or not, I hope we as a country and come together to show support for the President, because he still deserves our respect. When we feel the need to speak negatively about our country, government and war, we should pause and remember all the men and women who are currently fighting and who have fought, day and night, in the freezing cold and scorching heat, in the snow and the mud and the rain, for months and years and holidays and birthdays, to protect this country and our freedom. We should think of them when we lose faith in our country and our government, because their sacrifices are not for nothing. We should think of the brave African-Americans and women who fought for the right to equality that we often take for granted, and the gay men and women fighting for that same right now. The sacrifices of the people that have fought to move our nation forward should not be for nothing.

Here is an except I loved from President Obama's 2012 election night speech:
I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try. I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America.

Have faith in your leaders. Have hope in the future.

Out of many, we are one...while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can. ~President Obama Election speech 2008

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