We can now breathe a sigh of relief: after two years of hard work and hope for the chance to build a better future, we have helped to elect the United States' first black president. And, as the cover of last weeks Economist boldly proclaimed, "It's Time."
But what is it time for? At the moment, celebration. Last night, after it was announced that Mr. Obama was to become our countrys 44th Commander In Chief, the Bay Area erupted in elated enthusiasm for what we collectively hope is a change for the better. It was exciting, I must admit. Over and over again cheers from the crowd underscored our excitement. "O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!" Drive-by wooing ran rampant and gleaming smiles of hope radiated jubilantly, welcoming the dawn of a new era.
However exciting it is to have won, we must understand that our time for celebration needs to be short and sweet. Our country is in a delicate state, both domestically and internationally: our foreign relations have been strained by a president and a people blinded by a conveniently ambiguous definition of patriotism, our own economy is weathering a possible meltdown of sorts, and the American public's faith in its own government has dwindled to what could be construed as political depression.
So it is time for our beloved candidate to follow through. It is time for the cost of his hope-product that we so willingly purchased to be validated. And it is time for change to be implemented on the national stage. Yes, we bought into the campaign rhetoric, but we are not blind...we expect results.
In the same vein, it is also time for us to follow through. Please don't regard this victory as a socioeconomic fix-all. Don't repeat the very recent mistake of embarrassingly declaring "mission accomplished" when our fight has just begun. We must keep ourselves politically active or we belie the very principle of our own message. Let us not hollow the promise that we so adamantly made to our candidate, to our country, and to our fellow Americans. Let us move our oft repeated "yes we can" to the more actionable "yes we will" so that we can tell our children, without crossing our fingers, "yes, we did."