America has elected a biracial man named Barack Hussein Obama to be its 44th President. Much of the TV coverage has focused on the enormity of this fact.
The racial healing symbolized by Obama's victory is significant and certainly deserves emphasis.
However, from the point of view of partisan politics, the results are arguably even more impressive. Obama openly embraces the idea of universal health care, increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and an end to the American war in Iraq. He wants to "put a price on carbon" in order to combat global warming, to substantially increase investment in domestic infrastructure, and to initiate an alternative energy program modeled after the Apollo program. In fact, Obama embraces a plethora of policies that have made previous Democratic candidates for high office gun-shy.
Moreover, Obama was labeled the most liberal member of the US Senate by a reputable third-party evaluator, and his opponents often pointed out this fact. Indeed, they tried to call him a socialist.
Some implied that Obama was anti-American. He "palled around with domestic terrorists." You get the picture.
In sum, Obama embraced a clear Democratic agenda, withstood horrible attacks about his identity, and still won an overwhelming victory. As I write, he has 4 million more votes than John McCain and 51% of the vote. I suspect his margin of victory will increase a bit as big city tallies and the west coast totals become known.
This is remarkable. Truly unique and inspiring.
Earlier tonight, I was reminded by a prominent journalist that Bobby Kennedy's last words were "Now it's on to Chicago and let's win there."
It took 40 years, but admirers who watched Obama's speech in Grant Park must think that Kennedy's words now ring true.
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