This morning we ran an editorial calling upon the nation to unite after the election, and quoting something S.C. Supt. of Ed. Jim Rex had said:
“What’s important for our students to know is that after elections, Americans come together,” Dr. Rex wrote. “We have enormous challenges ahead of us — a war on two fronts, an economy in crisis, a broken health care system, and so much more. We cannot stand to be divided one more day. Regardless of who wins, it’s time for us to work together to move this country forward and create a better, more stable America for our children and grandchildren."
Did you catch the little grace note there that made his message truly bipartisan — his reference to "a war on two fronts?" In case you missed it, that is decidedly not the official Democratic Party version.
We were reminded of that last night in Barack Obama’s otherwise gracious, affirming victory speech, in which he sincerely called on the nation to come together, but nevertheless repeated the official Democratic Party version of reality:
we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril…
And so we continue with the refusal to acknowledge either a) the global war on terror, or b) that Iraq is part of it. It makes me wonder: When we act against al Qaida in Somalia, or Yemen or Pakistan or Indonesia, are those third and fourth and fifth and sixth wars, etc.?
Sorry to be such a nitpicker. I truly thought Obama’s speech was good, and appreciated its attempts to reach beyond party.
Likewise, I appreciated the graciousness of John McCain’s acceptance speech, even though one could detect partisan difference in that even when he was trying the hardest to reach out:
In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.
Did you catch it? Yes, it’s a very Republican thing to say those Americans "WRONGLY believed that they had little at stake or little influence." Democrats would likely leave out the "wrongly."
Bottom line, I appreciated both speeches, for what they did, and more, for what they meant to do. I can think of no recent election in which both victor and defeated were so gracious at the critical moment.
But I’m an editor; I pick at words. And even while I’m applauding, these little flaws jump out at me. File them under the heading of "how far we have yet to go," even on agreeing about the nature of reality.