“We’re all going to die.”
It was not long after the announcement of President-elect Barack Obama’s victory that the sobbing started, and this comment managed to find its way out through the tears. The girls living next door to my friend’s house had clearly been crossing their fingers pretty tightly for a win by Sen. John McCain. Perhaps so tightly the circulation of blood had stopped running to their heads.
The friend who shared this story with me lives outside the small, conservative Midwestern college he is attending.
At the school where he is currently student teaching, one sixth grader in his class suggested that because Obama had been elected president, the White House was now going to be bombed. It sounds to me as if someone’s being allowed to watch a little too much 24. Either that or Fox News Channel.
And while this view may seem inconsequential coming from a sixth grader who can’t vote, it does reflect on his parents who can.
And they’re not the only ones.
During McCain’s concession speech, twice he mentioned Obama’s success, and twice it was met with booing. A more tasteful McCain requested that the crowd, and the American people, remain respectful.
I can understand the disappointment supporters must feel when their candidate isn’t chosen, but there is no need to overreact.
I tried to find out what the voices on Facebook were saying, but after about 10 minutes of reading through largely biased and inconsequential bickering, I blacked out. One of the things I managed to catch before I did, was this:
“Never thought I’d live in a socialist country =( only about 3 months away though. Our economy is doomed and so is our people. Don’t get me wrong it is great that we have our first African American president, but too bad he’s gonna destroy America,” Jared Cavis said on the McCain-Palin campaign’s Facebook page.
This fearful reaction toward the new president has been caused, in part, by what a number of McCain supporters have been falsely led to believe about Obama.
Even during the final presidential debate held just one month ago, McCain continued to suggest that there might be some hidden link between Obama and former radical leftist William Ayers, a man whose organization’s bombings were going on while Obama was only 8 years old.
There is no doubt this year’s election has been a historic one, with the first African-American being elected to the presidency, along with the potential for a huge shift in the country’s direction. However, in 219 years of presidential elections, not a single one has managed to result in this country being crippled beyond recovery. So please, stop buying up all the canned food and come back from your fallout bunkers.
As McCain said, “I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here.”
We’ve survived many bad presidencies, but many good ones, as well. It’s too soon to be saying the country is going to spiral downward when we’re still months away from Obama even stepping foot in the Oval Office.
Let history decide the outcome of his presidency. In the meantime, grab a tissue, dry your tears and work to make America better instead of just talking about how it’s going to be worse.
Kriston Bethel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.