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Column: America Still Strong, Despite Frustrating Election Results

This story was written by Jesse Hathaway , The Post


The votes are cast and counted, the media coverage has died down, and if youre like many Americans, you may be feeling like President-elect Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress are the heralds of Americas end. Ever since November 5, Ive seen Republican and conservative friends of mine changing their Facebook statuses to reflect their gloomy new outlook on Americas future. Admittedly, I engaged in some of this behavior myself for a few days. A little disappointment and anger is natural, but it seems that post-election depression is becoming more and more common these days, especially in emotionally charged elections such as the last few presidential elections weve had.

As wrong as I think Obama and the congressional Democrats are on the issues, their being in power is not the end of the world, nor the end of America, for that matter. Are we going to face tougher times as a result of their economic policies? Perhaps. Are we going to be attacked again by terrorists? I hope not. Is America dead? No! America is still as great as it was on November 3.

Renouncing America because of who won the election is something that came from Democrats in 2000 and 2004. One famous example that comes to mind is Alec Baldwins promise to leave the country if George W. Bush won the 2000 election. Bush won, and Baldwin never left. Folks, dont be like Alec Baldwin; chill out, mend those fences that were broken over the election, and love America unconditionally.

This years post-election freak-out isnt relegated to the right wing, either. All across the country, people are up in arms over Californias Proposition 8, which sought to ban gay marriage in the state. The proposition, against all intuition, passed, and two people of the same sex cannot get married there. However, already, people are freaking out about how this is tantamount to banning interracial marriage, or how people supporting the proposition are bigoted. Tensions in California are so high that the LAPD issued a citywide tactical alert in order to deal with the unrest in Los Angeles. There have been more than 500 Facebook groups and more than 200 Facebook events created by people freaking out about Proposition 8. Excessive, much?

Just like Obama and other Democrats getting elected, the people of California using the democratic process to determine what kinds of legal contracts can be made in their state is not the end of the world. If the majority of Californian voters decide that they voted in error, the democratic process can be used to overturn the amendment in 2010, just like if the majority of Americans decide that they voted in error for Obama and other Democrats, they can vote for non-Democrats in 2012. Democracy works, even if you voted with the minority.

Yes, your side did lose the election. But it is useless to worry about the past or to beat up on yourself or your side, because the results cant be changed. However, losing is not an end, but an opportunity to do better next time, wiser and stronger for the wear.

America is not going to end anytime soon. If one president were enough to make or break America, we would not have survived over 200 years. Besides, its been said that it took a Carter to give us a Reagan. Until then, its important for Americans Democrats and Republicans alike to love their country, regardless of whos the president. Thats what it really means to be an American.

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