This story was written by David Ryan, The Daily Athenaeum
Its been a long and tiring race, but America finally has a new president: Barack Obama.At roughly 11 p.m. Eastern Time, all of the major networks projectedthat Obama would be the 44th president of the United States.Ladies and gentlemen this is an election that will ring throughout history.For the first time in the history of the United States, an AfricanAmerican has been named the president of the United States a featthat would have been unthinkable 50 years ago.Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee, acknowledged this milestone in his concession speech.This cannot be understated. Obamas presidency is certainly one for the history books.But it is also one that will serve as an important catalyst for the political discourse in this nation.From the beginning, Obamas message has been one of hope and change a message that obviously resonated throughout the nation.The American people have spoken, McCain said in his concession.In a time when economic doubts continue to affect the employment of theAmerican workforce, two consecutive wars on foreign fields and aspiralling economic debt, Obamas message of hope flies in the face ofthe typical campaigning of fear that has become so common in Washington.In a time of despair at home, hope was a message that the American people could get behind.McCains campaign, and his base behind him, tried to undercut Obamasrelative inexperience as a serious threat to the safety of this country.They tried to paint him as a socialist, saying that America would become an extension of the Communist party.They tried to paint a vague picture of an unknown despite his service in the senate and accomplishments in Illinois.They tried to paint him as a man who associates himself with known terrorists and who hates his country.They even tried to paint him as a baby killer, because he believes in womens rights.And they said nothing about the fear-based slanders, lies and wrongscirculating among those who were uncertain of on the basis of ignoranceand intolerance.Obamas campaign rose above that and it succeeded.Certainly Obamas presidency is a great milestone for the African American community. It shows that this country has come a long way from the Civil RightsMovement, when American citizens were demonized and vilified for thecolor of their skin.Obamas presidency is a continuation of those rights a shining beaconthat the efforts of those before him will continue to be honored withfurther advances.After eight years of fearmongering, failed economic policies, taxbreaks for the rich, a costly and unnecessary war in Iraq and stifledhuman rights, America finally has a light at the end of the tunnel.And come Jan. 20, thats going to be a mighty bright light.What needs to happen now was summed up by both candidates the need for unity in Washington.McCain offered his help to the president-elect, urging the need for unity and bipartisanship.And, to his credit, he dismissed the jeers of his audience.But the message of unity was best summed up by Obama himself.The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not getthere in one year or even one term, but America I have never beenmore hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you we as a people will get there, Obama said in his acceptance speech.After eight years of division, Obama gave us hope.