Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.
Let me preface the following statements by admitting to being a strong advocate of the Republican Party during this last election. While disappointed about the final results, there are limits to expressing these feelings and emotions to the general public. Sadly, many people have crossed this line—on both sides.
While Facebook statuses are great ways of revealing emotions and thoughts of friends, it has been taken to the extreme. It now blasphemes, ridicules, belittles and annoys others and their politics. Why are Facebook wars necessary? Can these things not be civilly discussed in person?
I have many friends who voted for Obama. While we disagreed on several levels, we had many enlightening conversations without raising our voices or calling people names that should not be repeated in public.
Doing these things in private with trusted friends can be acceptable. However, the line is drawn when opinions are made to purposefully ridicule and demean others to prove oneself, or one’s opinions, better. If you cannot say it without yelling, can it really stand on its own?
Why is it that race is still a factor when the truly important issues are in a person’s credentials, experience and moral issues? I have a problem with some of these qualifying factors, but race has no place in deciding elections. The only time it should arise is during an attempt to eliminate racist behaviors.
People should not cast racial judgments. Many racist jokes or slurs have been made, but it really only makes those people look like loud, pigheaded jerks. On the flip side, many people voted solely on basis of the pigment of the candidates’ skin. While it makes history, it will make no other trivial difference. Racist issues still exist, but it is a dying factor that belongs to people who cannot think outside their little box.
One of the benefits of this election was that Obama is this nation’s first black president. This is a truly amazing feat, considering the segregation issues that were considered normal and acceptable less than a century ago.
Another important result was the rise in voting turn-outs across the nation. The final turn-out of voters went from 55.3 percent in the 2004 election to 64.1 percent in 2008.
While I actually like some of the words President Bush created, it irritated many. Now we won’t have to worry about listening to comedians mock the president’s latest verbal mishap. With Obama in office, the nation can also enjoy an eloquent State of the Union Address every year. Most importantly, there will no longer be any argument as to how the word “nuclear” should be pronounced.
The people have voted, the ballots are in, and the winner has been announced. Some mourn while others rejoice. It is a new day in America. We, as a nation, need to focus on what lies ahead, to be educated on what happens in D.C. and to pray for our country and our new leader.