President-Elect Barack Obama

This is not a political blog, but for a moment permit me to be political.

Thank you voters for proving that policies of torture, fear-mongering, cowboy diplomacy, condescension, dishonesty, deregulation, secrecy, and Constitutional upheaval will not stand in the United States of America. Thank you voters for seeing through the rhetoric of fear that catered to the lowest of human instincts; not Obama the socialist, or Obama the terrorist, or Obama the secret Muslim — now Obama the President-Elect. Thank you especially to the people of Florida and Ohio for demonstrating, after the malfeasance of 2000 and 2004, that merit still trumps connections.

After a campaign that was too negative on both sides, thank you John McCain for your gracious concession speech. Now that you are no longer running for office and no longer need to tow the party line, return to the Senate and be the maverick you once were and have spent countless weeks claiming you still are.

Now that the Democrats have reclaimed the White House and made gains in Congress, it’s time for the work to begin. Democrats, you have inherited a catastrophic mess, and it is yours to clean up or screw up. Get it done. Bring us away from petty partisanship, return us to measured diplomacy, welcome Republicans and Democrats alike into the cabinet, restore our reputation in the world, get us out of Iraq, get us out of the recession, reverse our growing national cynicism, and remind us that all of America is real America, and that “intellectual” and “elite” should not be pejorative.

And George W. Bush … oh Georgie. You’ve run roughshod over this country for eight years. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.