Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Path Chosen

I keep hearing about the historic nature of yesterday's election and it feels momentous indeed. Regardless of who you voted for, the speech last night that the president-elect gave in Chicago's Grant Park was an emotional experience for many. It seemed to me that the speech was an outreach to every citizen of the United States as well as the world. Mr. Obama was more sober than I expected, less gleeful about his triumph and more thoughtful than I anticipated. He seemed imbued with a sense of great responsibility regarding the work he has ahead of him. He seemed to comprehend the weighty and momentous decisions that will be his as our newly elected leader.

I must admit that with his ringing voice, his charismatic style, and his good looks that I felt a bit of the sparkle of Camelot that I've heard so much about from the JFK years. I think its about time for some of the romance and enthusiasm to return to the political scene.

I also was surprisingly pleased by McCain's concession speech. He spoke with grace and humility regarding his loss of the presidential office and his support of the president-elect. It is the type of emotion that I rarely see in the public arena of politics and I so appreciated it. It showed pluck and courage and a measure of this man that I had not witnessed before. In the end, I was touched by his choice of words in characterizing himself as a servant-leader.

Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people . . . for it.

That is such an inspiring way to think of each of our roles as citizens of this country--we are servants and helpers to each other regardless of our positions of power.

With all the disagreement and division that occurs throughout a political campaign the notes of grace, humility and responsibility were not the emotions I really expected to experience on Election Day. I suddenly felt reconnected and reminded that this political process can be a hopeful and even a beautiful one, if we treat each other with dignity and respect. As Mr. Obama encouraged last night,

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

And while [we have] won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

That is what I would like to see as well. I do enjoy the discussion and debate that are an inherent part of our political system. What I dislike is when that discussion crosses the bounds of respect for one another and the willingness even to agree to disagree without rancor or derision towards each other.

If we take our cue from the leaders last night, I think we are headed on the right path.


Megan said...

Thanks Ede, I needed some hope and thoughtfullness.

Lori Sume said...

I agree. We do need hope---and maybe at times, that is all we can rely on. President Monson said there would be change coming... Let's focus on what is important in our lives and with any change, we just keep growing no matter what and no matter the situations that come across our paths if we want to learn to be more like our Savior.

I agree too that we need to all get along and accept that not everyone agrees with everyone. thanks for your thoughts on this.

Rus said...

Very, very well stated.

Kristin said...

You have such a great way with words. What good thoughts for everyone. I think they should be published somewhere :)

The Puffer Family said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. I felt the same way - that regardless of who you voted for there was a sense of hope that was given on election day. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Obama's acceptance speech and I was impressed with what McCain's concession. Thanks for putting into words what I felt. I wish I had your gift with words!

Cissy said...

I think yours is the most gracious, optimistic Republican reaction I have read in the past few days. Thanks for the thought.


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