The Mrs. and I got out and voted yesterday, doing our part in Northern Virginia. There were already lines at the polls when we arrived there at 6:30 a.m., but the process was efficient and we made it through fairly quick. Everyone we encountered was good natured and enthusiastic, from the pollworkers checking us off in the ledger to the strangers waiting in line with us to cast our votes. McCain/Obama campaign surrogates cheerfully handed out literature beside one another outside the polling station, they even joked with one another as we picked up their respective flyers. There were some cheerleaders selling krispy kreme donuts to raise funds, too, I ‘m just saying. . .
SO thumbs up to voting in Northern Virginia. No panthers, no intimidation, cheerleaders and an orderly process executed in good cheer.
It was nice to see so many people at the polls. Apathy and cynicism are dangerous things, but it appears that most people in the United States are enthusiastic about their democracy, and want a say in how we are governed. And the American people spoke pretty effectively last night, no?
The Republicans were taken to the woodshed, punished, and left in the wilderness to fend for themselves. The Democrats, who know a little about exile, now control two thirds of the government.
Next year, President Obama and a Democratic Congress are going to have to lead this nation through two challenging wars, and sooner or later a showdown of some sort with Iran. Neither of these wars are overly popular with their base, either.
They are going to have to immediately address the economic crisis, and decide which of their programs they wish to pursue in the wake of declining revenues. And they are going to have to restrain themselves from the hubris that eroded Republican majority in two successive elections.
These are daunting tasks, but there are some terrific opportunities as well to make the Nation more prosperous and secure. So congratulations, President-elect Obama and new elected members of Congress. Keep the nation and the people in mind, and I hope you govern well.