Grand Ol’ Failure

Congratulations, America. The better candidate has won. Barack Obama’s decisive victory on Tuesday reflects a strong endorsement of Obama’s ideas and a rejection of Bush’s Republican Party. The victory on Tuesday was not just a victory for Barack Obama. The American people, in addition to voting for the first black president, voted for the ideals of the Democratic Party, increasing the margin of the majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Conservative pundits and strategists have attributed McCain’s loss to Obama’s (admittedly impressive) “star-power,” and indeed, he is an unusually compelling speaker, politician and symbol of our nation’s progress. This magnetism was not, however, the reason Barack Obama will be our next president. After eight years of Republican incompetence and corruption, America is ready for change, and not, as McCain implied, change for its own sake. The election of Barack Obama is a sound condemnation of both Republican policy and policy-makers. As John McCain himself stated in his concession speech, “The American people have chosen, and they have chosen clearly.” Despite his protests otherwise, John McCain represented a continuation of George W. Bush’s legacy. While McCain’s much-touted maverick record and history of opposing Bush on key issues separate one man from the other, the results of the congressional races show that this was never a race between two men. Obama’s election proved that Republican ideals and principals have, in the eyes of the American people, failed: this, and not Barack Obama himself, is the principal reason John McCain is not our next president. Throughout the campaign season, the McCain camp tried to make this election a referendum on Barack Obama, focusing on associations decades old, his alleged lack of experience and his middle name. Wisely, Obama’s campaign kept the focus on the issues America cares about: the economy, our troops overseas and healthcare. But it was not merely discussing these issues that won Obama the presidency—his ideas thereon and those of Democrats running for office across the country were supported by the electorate. The 2008 election was a referendum on ideas, and not on men, and as a result, America has chosen the better of both. Erica Harris and Jake Romanow are the President and Vice-President of the Democrats Club from Henderson, Nev. and Brookline, Mass. respectively.