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The Day After…

November 7, 2012

Yesterday, the USA held its presidential election.  I, and many other Canadians were watching while our nearest neighbours  selected their leader. It was interesting to see, in the lead up to election day, the posturing and mud-slinging that occurred on both sides. On the day of, it was even more interesting to see, via the internet; just how passionately people felt about their choices.

Reactions ranged from “the lesser of two evils” to “he will destroy our great nation!” Of no great surprise, Canadians were weighing in as much as our friends to the south.  A comment floating about the web went “X% of Canadians would vote for Obama.” And it wasn’t even our choice!

To my personal joy, Barack Obama won a second presidential term.  His acceptance speech embraced all Americans, no matter who they are.

“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, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.” – Barack Obama, 2012.

Many great things happened last night:

  • An African-American man won the leadership of the USA for a second term.
  • The majority voted against a party that was against equality, held the rights of women in low esteem, fought against taxation of the rich and would deny many healthcare.
  •  A record 20 women were voted into the Senate.
  • New Hampshire became the first state to have an entirely female Congressional delegation.
  • Wisconsin elected the first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin.
  • 4 states voted for same-sex marriage.

All of this spoke of great progress for all, in one of the largest nations on the planet.

While all of this brightens the day for many people, there is still the work to be done to take action on all the great promises that Mr. Obama has made.  There are many more basic issues that must be addressed, such as healthcare, the economy as a whole and the job market supporting that economy as well as taxation.  Additionally, now that the groundwork has been laid, it is equally important to continue the efforts to strive for equality for all – wage equality, marriage equality, etc.

There were many Republican supporters who remain bitterly opposed to Obama and voiced their opinions throughout the night and continue on today as is their right.  What cannot continue to happen is for both parties to contend, on principle, that it is their way or the highway.  There has to be cooperation in order for anything of substance to occur, and blocking a proposal simply on the principle that it was proposed by the opposition is counterproductive. Be educated, be thoughtful, be open-minded and have the one binding principle be for the greater good of your country.

Today was a bright, sunny, but brisk November day, here in London, Ontario, Canada. I woke to a world where so many good things had happened overnight that it was hard not to smile as soon as I woke.  The future looks very bright and it was as if Mother Nature wanted to let us know we had her support. Hopefully, I will feel the same way for Canada, when next we head to the polls.

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