We Are One Nation, We Are One Body

Habemus presidentum. The results are in; the long and arduous journey to the White House culminated on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 with the election of Barack Obama, the first term senator from Illinois. Also at the end of the road is both war and senatorial veteran, John McCain, senator from my home state of Arizona. While this campaign has endured since the last presidential election, and the path has been wrought with embittered sentiments on both sides, it seems clear that now will be a time of reconciliation for the United States.
Irrespective of the outcome, either Barack Obama or John McCain would inherit defunct economy, bruised relations with those abroad, a war without end in sight, and a broken nation. The Bush Administration has left a poor state of affairs for the presidential successor, and the American people yearning for hope.
It seems clear that the American people had become disenchanted. And this election cycle wore on and was brutal from the neck-to-neck Democratic primary between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, to the general election throwing McCain into the mix.
The general election was no less brutal. The three presidential and the vice-presidential debates evidenced the tension between both camps. It was constant point-counter-point, diverting from questions (or evading them altogether), and of course accusations.
Ironically, the landslide election of Barack Obama did not yield a backlash from the opposition (or, at least not from the candidate). I was at the celebration for the congressional reelection of Harry Mitchell, in the district that is home to my alma mater, ASU. At approximately 9:00 PM, Mountain Standard Time,
Obama was announced the clear winner and president-elect. It was the first time in the latter half of my lifetime that the results of the presidential election were revealed the evening of the same day that ballots were cast. Shortly later, the media brought viewers to the Arizona Biltmore, mere miles from my location, to witness John McCain’s concession speech.
Senator McCain delivered a humble address acknowledging his defeat. Rather than be demoralized, he accepted responsibility for the loss, and stated that the American people have spoken… “Quite clearly.” McCain never once cursed Senator Obama, and to his credit, exhorted that his side support the newly elected president. Senator McCain affirmed that he would be there to help President Obama in the coming term. McCain promoted unity. While I personally have never had much common ground with John McCain, I have never been prouder to call him my senator.
The evening shifted to Grant Park in Chicago where Senator Obama would give his acceptance address. His words were no less inspirational. While he acknowledged that the win was a great victory for the Democratic Party, Senator Obama noted that he did not receive everyone’s vote but vowed to listen to the needs of the many with the statement, “…And I will be your president too.”
Irrespective of the events of the past eight years, and all our differences, both sides have encouraged unity. This nation under God will need to meet the challenges of the future together, because we are stronger as a whole. And this nation, this body, is in profound need of healing.
Much like the Church is the Body of Christ, despite our differences, we are one nation. As a people, we are united. As a Church, we are “universal”.
While the Catholic vote was relatively evenly split, slightly in favor of Obama at 53% according to USA Today, this indicates that there is a diversity of opinion within the Church. But we are still one Body in Christ. We are all broken. And we will receive this reconciliation together, as one.

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About Dick Dalton

Dick is a third generation native of Phoenix, Arizona, and has a BA in political science and a BA in French from Arizona State University. He currently pursues a Global MBA program in marketing at Thunderbird School of Global Management. -- While very local, he does manage to get around, having visited 23 countries spanning four continents. Some of his interests include travel, foreign language, social justice, culture, religion, politics, and writing, of course!

2 thoughts on “We Are One Nation, We Are One Body

  1. I once heard someone say that Bush did something no one else has ever done-he won the election by dividing the nation. I think Obama may have done the opposite.

  2. Lauren – I disagree on both points, since we have more then one candidate to choose from, we are divided on which candidate should lead each election year. Votes are still being counted, but it looks like Obama in ’08 will have between 1.5 and 2% more of the popular vote then Bush in ’04, I don’t think that’s a very big difference.

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