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nablopomo: election day

While I am wholeheartedly excited that the projections show that Obama is the winner of the 2008 presidential election, I'm slightly annoyed with the fact that without having counted all the votes yet, they are calling the race. Despite this annoyance, I am absolutely floored by the projected results. Barack Obama has brought about changes in seven states that have voted the same way for years upon years. This is an absolutely historic day and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for the American people, who as Jon Stewart has said, are living up to the promise that our four founders made, that all men are created equal.

But my eyes have left the television, the red and blue states, the republican and the democrat and have turned to the reality of this election day. The reality is that even though we have voted in Barack Obama as our new president, the conservative and unchanging values still live and have still won victories in many states. Three states (Arizona, California and Florida) were voting for a ban on gay marriages. Arkansas is voting to put a ban on gay couples adopting children, and the vote is leaning to yes. As for the bans on gay marriages, they are also leaning toward yes. This country has seen change in recent years, but our progress is slower than I could have hoped, and unfortunate for those who see the bigger picture already. The bigger picture is this: we have put restrictions on groups of peoples in the past and we have seen the ramifications for these actions. Banning gay couples from their basic rights as human beings is another step back for America. I am unsure if our motion forward and our steps backward are not canceling each other out, leaving us in the same spot we started in years ago. I am anxious about what is going to happen in the years to come.

Despite my misgivings, I am so amazed and awed at this nation for showing its true red, white, and blue colors today. I am floored by the record number of citizens who turned up to vote, standing in lines for hours just to make their voices heard. I am proud to be a part of a nation where social progress is no longer just an unreachable star in the distance and my hope for the future is astronomical. Congratulations America, you made the right decision this year.

Now I turn to the words of our new president:

...Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America...

...You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how theyll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there...

...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. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too...

...This is our chance to answer that call. 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 cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Read a full transcript of this speech here.