On Nov. 4, 2008, we saw something historical happen. It was a great and proud moment when we saw the American people cross racial and political barriers to elect Democratic Senator Barack Obama as president of the United States.
But what does that mean for us now? Over the past few months, people all over Eastern’s campus and the United States, including myself, were swept up in the frenzy of campaigning for our chosen candidate, educating ourselves on their stances and policies and debating with others. But all that has come to an end. On January 20th, we will see a new president sworn in, and we will return to our everyday lives, post-presidential election.
But I believe that our work as students, professors and citizens has just begun.
It would be easy for many of us to disengage from politics now that our president has been chosen; however, that would be a mistake. As a generation that has been characterized by apathy, we saw students rising up as a key demographic of voters in this election, many of us going to the polls for the first time. Professors engaged in debate with both students and colleagues and even saw the ramifications of this political campaign in their classrooms. As citizens, all of us, no matter our political ideologies or parties, took part in a historic moment in the history of the United States.
If anything, this should fuel us. If anything, this campaign should make us realize that we can make a difference, and we can take part in the complex world that is politics.
Following and understanding what is going on in the world is just the start. We should start to get involved. Read a newspaper, work on a local campaign, spend some time on a news Web site, or get involved with your community. Know what legislation is being introduced in Congress and how it is going to affect you, because it will affect you. Maybe not tomorrow and maybe not next week, but years down the road you may see changes that began with our new president.
As Christians this is an even more crucial moment. Regardless of what you think politically, this election is a call to prayer. We sometimes forget the importance of prayer and the need to pray for our elected officials.
As the new president is sworn in, he will be faced with numerous challenges. He is currently faced with two wars, a failing economy and a myriad of other domestic and international issues. He needs prayer, as does his administration. Not only the president but America as a whole desperately needs prayer.
This election changes things. Hopefully, we will see change for the better. But regardless of where you come from, who you voted for or what you believe in, I cannot stress enough that you should get involved, continue to educate yourself, not disengage and most important of all, pray.