It’s time.

For the first time in a really long time, I actually feel positive about our nation.

I know that we’ve got an awful lot of crap to sort through and it’s likely not all going to be solved within the next four years, but fortunately over the last few weeks the people came together and proved that they are ready for change, and not just change that is kinda like change, but actually just more of the same that we’ve been dealing with for the last eight years, or in some cases, even worse.

I feel like we finally have a candidate that is going to start changing our country for the better, and I’m very happy that Barack Obama’s campaign didn’t end this evening with his merely being a candidate for the President of the United States. I can’t express how refreshing it is to not be watching Sarah Palin winking throughout McCain’s acceptance speech this evening!

We all know that everything that needs to be done can’t be done by one man or even lead by one man, however tonight I don’t think that we just elected a leader – by the tone of so many of his speeches throughout this campaign, including this evening’s victory speech, tonight we elected an inspiration. To truly build America into the country that clearly so many of us still believe in, we’re going to need a lot of passionate people and I truly believe that Barack Obama is going to be the man to mobilize those people.

It’s going to be a bit of a weird change for me – over the last eight years, I’ve really come to loathe our government from the top down to the point where I’ve often felt that so many attempts at “patriotism” were merely acts of people being proud of being proud about our country, as if waving the American flag or putting a bumper sticker on their car deserved a pat on the back. But tonight as I listened to Obama talk about the American dream and what this country stands for and where we need to get back to, I couldn’t help but think how polar opposite that felt from the lip-service that we’ve received from the Bush administration over the last eight years. It felt genuine – you could tell it was something that the guy really believed in himself, and when he talked about his own daughters living to be 106 years old and what progresses they’ll witness throughout their lifetimes … wow. Talk about goosebumps!

Everything isn’t going to instantly be all better, but it’s just amazing to me how much better I already feel about our country. I’m not as worried about the war in Iraq and whether or not it will ever end. I’m not as worried about the economy because I ultimately think that a lot of hard work is going to be what it takes to turn that beast around and now we actually have someone in office who can intelligently encourage such efforts. I’m not worried about wondering if our highest elected officials are making their decisions because they’re the best for the country and the people as opposed to looking out for their buddies and awarding them big government contracts. I’m not worried about Joe Biden “accidentally” shooting somebody in the face while he’s out duck hunting, or having a President who will butcher the English language every time he gives a speech.

Finding that my favorite TV shows are being preempted in favor of a Presidential speech will be something much more tolerable in the years to come and I can actually even picture myself going out of my way to hear him speak as our leader. I haven’t actively listened to a President speak other than to ridicule his positions since Bill Clinton was in office.

I’m sure this is going to be a hard thing for republicans to get used to – your guy didn’t win – but the election was bigger than them this time. We’ve done a lot of things the same as we always have for a long time lately, simply because that’s how we always do them, and it’s time to break free from that mold. They can continue to fight for antiquated beliefs that are no longer appropriate in these modern times, or they can truly embrace the idea of America being a melting pot of people and cultures and ideas and treasure that diversity in a way that a single-thought government simply can’t. It can be done in the United States of America, and I think that we finally have the new leadership to allow us to live up to the name, the anthem, and the ideals.

The hardest thing for me as this transition takes place??? Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do without having such an easy presidential target to fall back on in my humor writing! Our current President and his administration has really made the job of the humorist over the last eight years pretty easy – heck, some even sold entire books just transcribing his blunders word for word – now that’s the kind of work that a lazy humor writer likes! That said, I’m sure I’m not the only writer who’ll gladly take one for the team and come to terms with the fact that our red, white, and blue scapegoat of comedy will soon be no more, and ultimately I’m sure we’ll come up with something else to mock with a relieved smile on our faces and a song in our hearts.

Boy, I’m sure those free lunches the Capitol Steps have been enjoying over the last eight years are going to be missed, though!

Nonetheless, tonight was an amazing end to a very long road filled with potholes, pitbulls, and many propositions of whether or not we were even ready to start getting America back on its feet. And yet there’s still so many challenges to overcome – the election itself was merely a stepping stone towards resolving our differences – but at least now I think that we actually have a legitimate chance of getting there with the right man at the helm. It’s going to take a while for me to get used to this whole patriotism thing, but hey, I’m ready for change…

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