Give Obama chance to effect change

Letter to the Editor
Published: 11/28/2008 12:00 AM

I am very disheartened by recent comments posted on your Web site regarding the results of the presidential election. The anger, fear and thinly disguised bigotry expressed is very discouraging, and I'm amazed that people are still arguing over whether or not Barack Obama is a socialist. What are people afraid of? The big Wall Street bailout could be described as socialistic, but we're all still here, the world has not imploded. I don't understand how even the most conservative person could honestly believe that a man like Obama, with such obvious intelligence and careful, cautious consideration of issues, is up to something sinister.

The election is over, this is a democracy and the people have spoken. My hope is for unity (a word used frequently by Obama but never by McCain) and I'm naive enough to hope that this new presidential term will also usher in a new "Age of Reason." To me, a vote for Obama was a vote for education, intellectual advancement and a loud protest against one of our biggest, real enemies: bigotry. Some bloggers protested that Obama got votes "just because he was black." Of course that's true, especially for people who perhaps didn't understand the issues and lacked educational opportunity, but they did the best they could. It could also be said that McCain got votes simply because Sarah Palin is attractive and projects a down-to-earth image. It doesn't matter. We have no control over how people vote; it only matters that they did.

The country is a mess, we're all in it together and I have another hope for the people of this land: that we call up our compassion, not only for each other but for the President-Elect. He is only one man. It is going to take time for the results of his efforts to show. Are we going to be willing to cut him some slack?

We also can express support by doing the best we can to take care of ourselves, financially and otherwise. Whip out the credit card less often. Talk to your kids about making the upcoming holidays less about the stuff and more about shared, inexpensive activities. Reach out. Network. Join groups. Volunteer. Find humor. Hug your friends. Exercise. Make the cheap stuff count and ... expect to sacrifice.

I don't know what the next four years will bring, but I'm ready for something new. I choose to reject fear and I'm ready to shake the cynicism built up from the last eight years. I'm sad for the conservatives who have convinced themselves that Obama's intent is to do harm before giving him a chance to prove otherwise.

Susan Menzimer