It Is Time to Come Together

Let me add my voice to the millions in this country and around the world: Congratulations Barack Obama. Congratulations United States of America.

This has been a long and difficult journey in so many ways, both for the candidates themselves and for each of us as individuals. That journey is far too vast for me to recount in a blog post. What I can do is talk about some things I have seen and heard that have touched me.

I'll start with John McCain. I watched his concession speech last night. I saw a man with much integrity and positive spirit. I've said from the beginning that even though he wasn't my candidate, I feel good about him as a individual person. Don't write to me about the negativity in the campaign or nitpick little things about him or his running mate - or his opponents. I've heard it all and, honestly, it does no good to tear people down. So, let's hold John McCain up as the class act that he is. Please. What I walked away with from his speech is this: it is time to come together. We're all Americans and citizens of the world. Let's work together toward positive outcomes for all.

On Monday, I was listening to All Things Considered, NPR's program broadcast locally on WFYI 90.1 FM. I heard a discussion among NPR reporters who have traveled with the campaigns. They told campaign stories and had some good chuckles about the realities of the intensive schedules. The one thing that made it deep into my heart was a story about one of the debates. After the politicians and audience members had left, the volunteers from both parties sat together sharing pizza and beers, laughing all the while, before setting about the task of taking down the curtains and folding up chairs. The reporter was struck by the team work among the opposing party volunteers. They worked together, efficiently, to get the job done. He remarked that it was an illustration of the truth. Now that the election is over, it will be the job of each of us in this country to come together, support our government and get the work done.

While Barack Obama was my candidate, I'm not so starry-eyed to think I won't have to hold his administration accountable, fight (in the most civil way) for what I think is important for this country and push my representatives to do what is right. And that's the point. We each have a role to play, no matter how small. I have to participate. And so do you. And every other person in our country. Not only do our politicians have to come together, so do we. I have faith in the citizens of our country. I have great hope for the United States of America.