Obama makes history

Tuesday night, Barack Obama won a truly historic victory — a resounding, inspiring, uplifting and heartening victory — over John McCain. In doing so, he has recaptured the White House for the Democrats after eight, long, disastrous years of our country under George W. Bush.

No thousands of disenfranchised voters this time. No hanging chads. No Supreme Court intervention.

Obama won. And we have won back our country, at last. No one can steal this election, this time.

A testament to the critical importance of this year’s election and also to what Obama himself represents — change and hope — voter turnout nationwide was staggeringly high, up to 90 percent in some states.

From the start, The Villager strongly supported Obama’s presidential bid. Nine months ago, we enthusiastically endorsed him in the New York primary — well before Super Tuesday when it became clear he was the candidate of destiny.

Obama’s victory represents much on many levels. It represents the rejection of the politics of fear and the politics of Bush, which are, in large part, one and the same. Instead of harping on the Iraq quagmire, Obama stressed that our goal, simply, obviously must be to dismantle Al Qaeda’s Pakistan strongholds and capture Osama bin Laden.

McCain pushed the fear agenda hard. But the Wall St. meltdown — triggered by the home-mortgage crisis — which sent economic ripples around the globe, shifted the playing field. Obama’s ideas on the economy and on the domestic front, in general, outclassed McCain’s.

Of course, Obama’s win is immensely historic in that he will be our first biracial president, half-black, half-white. For a country in which slavery was once legal and in which black people have been killed, brutalized and discriminated against because of their skin color, Obama’s victory symbolizes a new day for racial equality. Somewhere, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is looking down and smiling — and probably shedding tears of joy.

Obama also represents a departure from gotcha politics. As McCain’s campaign sputtered, he resorted to this tired style of attacking. Hillary and Bill Clinton did it, too, during the primary. Taking the high road, Obama won voters’ respect.

Obama, 47, has inspired young voters, and people worldwide. With his eloquence, intelligence and spirit of change and hope — he is, simply put, inspirational. In trying times, we need an inspiring leader, a great leader. Obama has shown us he will be one.

This campaign also saw two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, come closer than women have ever before to becoming president and vice president. The day will soon come when a woman wins the presidency, making history. America is changing.

On Tuesday, Barack Obama made history.

Ironically, the day before Americans flooded the polls in record numbers, Mayor Mike Bloomberg signed a bill extending term limits — overturning two voter referenda. Whereas Obama has inspired millions of Americans to put aside their cynicism about politics, Bloomberg, doing an end run around voters, did exactly the opposite.