Five Reasons Every American Should Be Proud Today

Let’s transcend politics and look at the arc of history today.  The hard work will come – but for now, I wish to revel in some starry-eyed honeymooning.  No matter who you voted for, here are some reasons to be proud of your country today:

Senator John McCain’s Call For Unity

Senator McCain’s concession speech was the most gracious and patriotic concession I have ever heard.  While his crowd seemed to want almost none of it, he – and most of his supporters – are better than that.  This is the man I was excited about in 2000.  Had he run like this – had he been this guy all year – and avoided the neocons who sunk their claws into him, we’d very possibly be looking at a different outcome today.  I continue to believe – as I always have and as I have said publicly loud and often – that John McCain is a good man who wants the best for his nation.  It wasn’t particularly obvious these last few months, and that was tragic.  This speech – and the action that will undoubtedly follow it – serves as a powerful exclamation point on a distinguished career.

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President Elect Barack Obama

I’m really thrilled – more excited about this Election Day outcome than any since ’94, when my friend Angus King won the Maine Governorship.

Our nation is confronting once-in-a-lifetime challenges, so the road ahead is rough.  But this outcome makes us far better equipped to face them.  I’m proud of us, and not just for the choice we made, but for the impressive numbers of people who engaged, spoke up, and turned out.

Shortly, the real work begins – but for now, maybe let’s celebrate a little.  Fireworks have actually erupted here in Venice.

Leading into the MSNBC announcement, Chris Matthews said: “The world will look at us – thank God – with wonder again.” NBC called it at exactly 20:00 PST, with a clearly emotional Keith Olbermann delivering the news:

Republicans for Obama

I really want to push for everyone to feel that the Obama candidacy might be their best choice – Democrats, Republicans and independents – and that everyone should evaluate him regardless of their affiliation.  But it needs to be said that none have been betrayed by their “leaders” the way Republicans have.  Their party was hijacked by a few dozen neoconservative criminals, and our global reputation and economy are in tatters as a result.  The Republican party under Bush abandoned its ideals, and many Republicans are finding considerably more they like about Obama than they do about McCain.

I know more than a few smart Republicans – young and old school – who are supporting Obama.  But many of them don’t talk about it, or, if they do, not very loudly.  I hope that over the next couple of months they’ll speak a bit more loudly, because this is a candidacy that everyone should seriously consider.

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