On Tuesday night, UMW held its breath with the rest of America to see who would be elected as the country’s 44th president. Candidates spent millions of dollars on campaigning, people representing numerous political ideologies did their best to persuade others to vote for certain candidates, and hopes ran high when voter turnout across the nation was dramatically elevated.
Reactions from the results were bound to be somewhat extreme, considering the two-year length of the polarizing campaign that took over media publications and sparked debates from the very beginning.
The two candidates were both extremely gracious when televised media sources projected that Obama was the winner. John McCain’s concession speech was gentlemanly, and Obama’s was eloquent and serious.
However, the average citizen showed much less restraint in expressing his or her opinions about the election results. During McCain’s speech, people could be heard booing at Obama.
People on Facebook were no less restrained. Every five seconds, someone new would update their profile status with an extreme statement about Obama’s win and/or its subsequent effect on the nation over the next four years, regardless of whether they strongly supported or vehemently opposed him.
The Young Democrats, upon hearing the news, decided to celebrate by leading an ever-growing group of loud, rowdy UMW students on a cross-campus run while chanting various Obama cheers, such as “O-ba-ma O-ba-ma Oh!”, “Yes We Can!”, and simply the name “Obama!”.
While everyone is entitled to an opinion, this campus, and America as a whole, should take into consideration that the democratic process has decisively spoken, and Obama will be the next president.
Public reactions to this election have been scary thus far, and if they are any indication of what is to come, then the world, or at least the United States, will remain polarized.
Petty opinions and unimportant differences will get in the way of actually implementing effective policies that could, for instance, help remedy the current economic crisis and resolve social problems plaguing our society.
We need to unite. Since the election has ended, it’s important that we put aside our differences and become one nation under one flag again, ready for whatever the new leader and changing congress will do.
If we don’t, we’ll see a repeat of the effects from the loss of confidence in the Bush administration, including a plummeting effectiveness of the government as a whole and a negative perception of the U.S. in the eyes of the world.
In the end, it comes down to the idea that together, we will accomplish so much more than if we remain at odds with each other because of old campaign bitterness.
Let the past be the past, and strive for a new, different and rapidly approaching future.