I posted a playful response yesterday, and I'm waaaaaay too busy at school right now to write up a full commentary, but I feel compelled to say a few things:
On the Good Side:
~Despite the intense feelings on both sides, despite all the insanity on the fringes, the actual democratic process itself went well and smoothly, and the peaceful, orderly transfer of power is a great mark of the American system.
~Maybe deep down I'm some sort of sappy romantic, but there's something really moving about watching millions of ordinary citizens go out to cast their votes.
~I am so happy that the entire election cycle is finally over!
~Both major political parties showed that they were willing, able, capable, and indeed even happy to "push the envelope" and field unconventional candidates for high office.
On the Bad Side:
~This time around the mass media proved itself in large part to be not reporters but active participants. In VDH's words, it turned into shameless advocacy media. When even "Saturday Night Live" (no friend of the Right at all) slammed the MSM for it, you know it's bad!
~The disgusting displays of publicly sexist garbage directed at both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin from the Left hint at a real problem in that part of the political spectrum. (Wait, did I just defend Hillary Clinton? It's a brave new world.)
~The disgusting attacks on Sarah Palin from some so-called feminists from the far Left expose a troubling school of thought among those feminists who seem to believe that their conception of female behavior/values is the only one that's acceptable. Femi-fascists?
~There was not one single McCain-Palin poster on campus or even at my polling place that I actually saw with my own eyes, though other posters were everywhere. I know that I live in a liberal enclave, but the total absence of any opposition view whatsoever is deeply troubling.
~The utter media frenzy over "Joe the Plumber" was a low point indeed. In fact, I'll even say that the media gave him more scrutiny than it did its pet candidate. Also, if we've reached a day in which an ordinary American can't express himself without being harassed, then we're in big trouble.
On the Practical American Side:
~Barack Obama is the President-elect, and he should be congratulated on this achievement.
~It is now the duty of every American to give him a chance -- and also to support him in right decisions and to oppose (without rancor) the wrong ones.
~It is time for the GOP to get back to its roots. In many ways, it has lost its way amid its years in Washington, and it is time to go back to the things that made it great. I'm talking about small government, low taxes, and -- really -- the great libertarian ideas.
~A note to folks who didn't vote for Obama: we will NOT engage in Obama Derangement Syndrome, OK? Let us behave like adults, please.
~Also, for the people who are fearful about what Obama might do: getting elected is the easy part, and it's not easy. Governing is the hard part. Every president finds himself constrained by practical reality. It's one thing to babble happy platitudes and cheerful promises to make everyone feel good, but it's something else entirely when you're in the Big Chair and you are forced to make tough calls and hard decisions in real-world situations, and sometimes there are no good choices, and in every case, every decision has consequences.
(UPDATE: Actually, this point is also for those extreme pie-eyed Obamacolytes who think that their Obamessiah can magically transform the world instantaneously into an earthly paradise of free cookies, ice cream, and hybrid cars. Hard reality will hit -- and soon -- and I can pretty much guarantee that you're in for some big-time disappointment when you figure out that your messiah is only a human being like everybody else. If you decide to throw a temper tantrum and turn a nuclear backlash on the One whom you previously worshipped because Obamessiah can't give you heaven on a plate and you can't figure out how to live in the real world like a sensible problem-solving adult, then that's not my problem.)
~Country first, not party or faction. Can we at least agree on that? It is in America's best interest that Obama be a good president, and I think he has potential to be so. He seems an intelligent fellow, so I shall hope that he will learn quickly about the practicalities of office. He seems a personable fellow, so I shall hope that he will take the high road and reach out to the other side of the aisle.
~The election is over. What now? It is time to get pragmatic.
I'll have more later -- maybe over the weekend. I won't do a thing about it tonight, though, because it's Thursday night, so TGIT and you know what Thursday nights mean for the Evil Enablers and me! Enough of politics; it is time for some salt and fire.
UPDATE: For more campus nerd analysis, see Lumpenscholar.