Dear Readers November 6, 2008

This is an historic day in America.

Whether you consider yourself red, blue, left, right, liberal, conservative or somewhere in between, I think we can all agree that this presidential election is historic, not only for America, but for the entire world.

Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States of America.

I’ve spent months and months following the polls and watching the numbers. I watched all the debates and poured over how the American population would receive the messages the candidates were offering.

On Tuesday night, as I watched the numbers come in and waited to see if history would be made, I found myself forgetting to breathe.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t possess all the wisdom of those older than I am. I haven’t lived through a Great Depression, fought on foreign soil or watched a person whipped for looking at a white woman. I am 27 years old. This is only my third presidential election. You can argue that I don’t have much in my brief history to compare this election against.

However, I can’t imagine an election in recent history being more important than this one. We’ve not only elected a minority president, but we had two women heartbeats away from the White House. When you compare the brief wonderful history that is America with the history of mankind, you see how far we’ve come in so little time.

Women fought for the right to vote for over 70 years and have only been standing up and voting beside their male counterparts since 1920. And in 2008, only 82 years later, we had a strong independent woman candidate one step away from the Democratic nomination and another women one step away from being the vice president. This would be a shining moment for Susan B. Anthony.

But this time we don’t have to settle for “almost.” Look at what we have done. We have elected an minority president to lead the greatest country in the world. We have voted -- in a large majority -- for an African American man to lead our country.

It’s one of the proudest moments in my young life. This country was founded and built with the slave trade a mere -- in a history of the world context -- 250 years ago. Only 143 years ago, African Americans won freedom, at least on paper. And it was an eye-blink 40 years ago that a young Martin Luther King, Jr., marched and preached and died. Tuesday night, his dream came true.

Throughout this election, I heard pundits and journalists talk about the “racial barriers” and the “Bradley Effect.” But not this time. This generation stood up and voted and showed the world that we are not as divided as it might seem.

I am a biased voter. As much as I would like to pretend that I can have a fair and equal view, I can’t. From the moment I listened to Barack Obama give his “Yes We Can” speech in New Hampshire, I was moved. I believed him and believed in him. I wasn’t listening to a politician make false promises just to get elected. I heard him speaking with passion and truth, and I was inspired.

The young voters of this nation were inspired, too. Young and first time voters have come out in record numbers and made their voices heard. They have seen that their voices matter, that they can make a difference. This election has stabbed the heart of perhaps our biggest threat: Apathy.

Obama said in his acceptance speech Tuesday night, “Change has come to America.” Truer words have never been spoken.

This election confirms to ourselves and to the world that we still are the leading light of democracy in the world. President-elect Barack Obama said it best: “If there is anyone out there who doubts that America is a place where anything is possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. Yes We Can!”

Tessa Bright, Lead Graphic Artist, Blount Today

© 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 1

mysterio writes:

I don't get it. I am a young voter; only my third election also and I can't disagree with the article more.

To me, this was the most uninspiring election yet. I see no major differences in either candidate unlike past elections. Both support lower taxes, both want to get out of Iraq, both voted for the massive Wall Street bailout, both want government to take over health insurance. The only real difference I saw was Obama was pro-abortion and McCain was pro-life.

There really wasn't much difference in either party this time; both major parties support some level of socialism (if not border line communism with "spreading the wealth" ideas coming from Republicans and Democrats alike).

This country really needs a third party candidate. Now that would be inspiring.