Change has arrived

The times, they really are changing in the United States.

Every four years, our nation comes together to select a leader. The process has produced fierce battles, hanging chads and, Tuesday night, America’s first black president.

“Change has come,” Democratic Sen. Barack Obama told the crowd gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Indeed, the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, Obama has ignited a new generation with his universal call for change.

While pundits spend the next few days arguing whether Tuesday’s election was a vote for Obama or a vote against incumbent President George W. Bush, the people have spoken. Fed up with an economy in a seemingly endless downturn, two wars in the Middle East and apparent apathy from the current White House administration, voters went to the polls en masse.

Tuesday’s historical vote marks the Democrats’ return to the White House, the House and the Senate. Winning the trifecta puts the onus on Dems to fix our nation’s many woes. Failing to deliver on the promise of change could result in another house-cleaning vote four years from now.

In his address to the nation, Obama acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead. “The greatest of a lifetime … two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century,” he said. “There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face.”

And therein lies another of what promises to be many changes – a politician who right out of the gate talks straight to his constituents. Let us hope it is a sign Obama is the “real deal.”

The challenges ahead are real and, as our 44th president-elect aptly said, will require “a new spirit of patriotism, of service and responsibility where each of us is resolved to pitch in and work harder.”