History is made.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”
This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can.
By the way, at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel in Century City where the main LA Obama party was held, when the networks called the election for Obama, and then later when the new president elect spoke, the emotions careening around the ballroom were extraordinary. Some people whooped a lot, of course. Other people stood stock still as if containing a roil of feeling.
A lot of people cried. A lot of people. At some point, for example, a very nice man whom I’d never met (who I later learned was an attorney because we exchanged cards) collapsed in my arms and sobbed for a minute or two while I sort of patted him. He was a head or two taller than me, and as I said, we didn’t know each other at all, but it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. I felt like he was crying for both of us.
It was that kind of night.