Posted by: Frank | November 8, 2008

History Made

Despite whether you agree with his policies, I don’t think you can disagree with the fact that Tuesday night’s election of Barack Obama was a historical moment. When I was thinking about it, the significance of the moment came to mind. Most presidential election nights cannot be deemed historical until after the person just elected has served their term. Time determines whether or not a particular president’s election is deemed historical. However, by being the first African American elected, Obama has already made history no matter what happens during his presidency.

If you look back on history, how many election nights do you think could be appropriately deemed historical right at that moment? I think you can argue that Tuesday night was one of two, maybe three, such events in the history of the United States. Clearly, George Washington’s election night was historical because he was elected the first President of the United States. You could argue that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term election in 1940 was historical because prior to it following Washington’s precedent, no one successfully sought and achieved being elected three times. So significant was that election that it resulted in the 22nd Ammendment to the U.S. Constitution. Even Washington’s elections didn’t result in a constitutional amendment.

So, I think Tuesday night was indeed a very rare moment. One that would have happened had Hillary Clinton been the Democrat nominee and won, and one that will happen again when a woman is elected president. I realize that it is possible that what happened Tuesday might be the most historically significant event of my life time.

The degree of history that has been made can only be determined four or eight years from now when Obama’s term ends, but it is history none the less. And because I voted, I, along with everyone else who voted, can say we participated in history. Indeed, in reality it was us and not Barack who made history. Selfishly, I feel pretty cool about having had the chance to be part of it. Then I think of my niece, who voted for the first time in this election, and I thought to myself, how cool is that.



  1. I am extremely happy to have lived through this moment in history. The thing I am most excited about is the fundamental difference in the way Obama sees the relationship between the government and the American people. The citizen is the focus of politics for once.

    I can’t wait until he is inaugurated and we can get the “elect” out of his title!

    Nice blog!

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