History Has Been Made. Let’s Keep It Going.

At long last, the presidential primary season is over, and it appears that both major parties now have their presumptive nominees in place. For the first time in way too many tries, the candidate I voted for in the Democratic primary actually appears to be getting the nomination. Weird…

No matter what your political affiliation is, and no matter which candidate you supported throughout the long months of campaigning, I think we can agree on one thing: that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even John McCain (just remember that his campaign was completely left for dead five months ago) have collectively blown the doors off many of the supposed axioms and ostensibly inflexible alignments governing the American electorate. Granted, the hinges were gradually disintegrating for at least the last several years, but that doesn’t take away from the enormity of their accomplishments through the long winter and spring.

The trick now, for the good of our country, is for both the Obama and McCain campaigns to stop those doors from being bolted back into place over the next five months. What we desperately need is an election contested by grown-ups willing to have serious, substantive debates over their disagreements without viewing those with differing views as enemies, and without resorting to fear-mongering, demonizing, and divide-and-conquer tactics in an all-out bid to gain power no matter what the negative long-term cost to our civil society. In other words, everything our political process has been lacking for the last couple of decades.

So, please, both Barack Obama and John McCain, as a lone voter with just one voice out of a hundred million or so, no more nor less important than any other, I ask you to keep that in mind through what will be a long summer and fall. There are things more important than winning, such as winning the right way. We need both of you now more than ever.

Please excuse this lifelong cynic for this brief moment of getting his hopes up.

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