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Give praise for our democracy

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President Barack Obama is still the president. And when I woke up on the morning of Nov. 6 and I thought that to myself, I could not help the gigantic grin that spread across my face.  I stretched my arms out in a lazy, happy mid-morning drowsiness. Praise the universe.

Or rather, praise the Latino voters in Colorado who overwhelmingly voted for Obama, thanks to Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” response to people who consider themselves productive members of society (2nd presidential debate). Praise the 55 percent of women who voted for him, and praise the women who were voted into Congress in record numbers. Praise Missouri and Indiana for not voting Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock into Congress.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We proved we can do better than vote loathsome, misogynistic pigs into positions of power.

Praise the youth in this country who voted (the percentage of which was in fact greater than in the 2008 election) and basically helped fuel Obama’s campaign with much needed energy and enthusiasm. Praise African-Americans and Asian-Americans who voted in greater numbers than ever before. Praise the LGBTQUIA community, and congratulations! You now have a president and large voter populations in four states that have officially voted and supported your right to be treated as equal human beings and citizens in this country.

Even happier than I am to know that Barack Obama is president is knowing that I will likely be attending the legally recognized marriages of my closest friends within my lifetime, who God knows are some of the most wonderful and deserving individuals I know.

And you now also have the first openly gay senator in Congress. Praise Wisconsin.

I can keep going, really. Praise the African-Americans and Democratic voters who, despite rigid voter ID laws and felon disenfranchisement laws designed to void as many Democratic votes as possible, stood in lines for hours to (basically) guarantee that Obama would win Florida.

And praise Barack Obama himself who, after the surprising first debate where an ultra-confident Mitt Romney asserted himself, rebounded with a tenacity and iron will to win. He responded as I would expect my President to respond to a difficult situation: he used all his resources, he showed honesty and integrity and he remained strong in his position. Above all, he never gave up on hope. As he so truthfully said during his victory speech Tuesday night, “I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”

I got chills; sometimes, words are just true. And when they are true, they resonate within us, vibrant and charged by the force of Truth.

Which is another thing about him. He told the truth as often as he could, as any politician could.

He told more truths than Mitt Romney, in any case.

He is a different person than he was four years ago – he is a better, more seasoned warrior. He reminded us of his accomplishments, he acknowledged he wasn’t perfect. He acknowledged the challenges of the future, which shows how much he has grown. He can recognize now, more than his election in 2008, how hard change is going to be. He spoke the truth again when he said, “progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward.”  He spoke to the unity we will need to establish, the bonds we need to reclaim with each other and the compromises we’ll need to make in order to make this country as beautiful as we want it to be.

Smart man. I expect nothing less from my president. And I am glad I can expect some effort toward finding common ground.

The list of praises I would have to make every morning should have to include all of us. I eagerly wait to see that vision of America. Until then, I can only thank those people who believed in Obama and fought for their rights. For all of our rights.

Praise the world, we have a democracy. And we made our choice clear.


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