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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    McCain’s Concedes Election, Not Country

    This past Tuesday night was plagued with excitement for the leaps and bounds our country has made by electing a black president, but also for an unexpected voter turnout to put all misconceptions about political apathy to rest. In the midst of being absorbed by all these milestones, however, we seem to have overlooked one of the memorable parts of the evening: John McCain’s concession speech. After months of being cursed with the reputation of being an old, stern politician, and attempting desperately to cement his reputation as a moderate, McCain delivered a graceful, heartfelt speech for the first time in months.

    Unfortunately, McCain’s speech, demonstrative of real intentions to “reach across the aisle,” was on Obama’s time. McCain supporters, disappointed by the loss, and Obama supporters consumed by a historical win, were too preoccupied with epic nature of the night, to appreciate McCain’s message. As he silenced the “boos” of Republican supporters, he assumed responsibility for the failure of his ticket. Perhaps at this juncture of the election, he didn’t have anything to lose by so nobly taking the heat for his and his supporters’ loss. Regardless of his intentions, his courtesy to assume responsibility for the defeat, and laud his running mate, who caused more than a few supporters to jump ship, was utterly honorable.

    Most importantly, though, McCain urged his supporters to stand behind our new president, despite their political differences. The degree of respect and support McCain displayed for President-elect Obama was exceedingly inspiring, especially considering fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton couldn’t even bury the hatchet and stand behind then-Democratic nominee Barack Obama, without consistently reminding us of the “glass ceiling.” He even went so far as to claim Obama’s victory, a testament to the greatness of our nation – referring, of course, to the racial adversity overcome.

    McCain didn’t just concede, but declared his commitment to returning to his service to the country as a senator and continue working with our future president. His optimism about the future of our country and encouragement of Americans to stand together behind our new Commander-in-Chief, are wise words that we should all try to live by. Whether we’re liberals or conservatives, it is our responsibility to unite our nation in our efforts to ameliorate the state of our country.

    During a time plagued with economic and social hardships, we have to help our president help us, whether it be through continued support or continued criticism. Regardless of where we stand on the spectrum, we have to continue making our voices heard, because we need our president more than he needs us. We need President-elect Obama to heed to our needs and be aware of our fears.

    Our political beliefs may be what divide us, but our hardships in such difficult times should be what bind us. If McCain can be appear so determined to work with President-elect Obama just hours after having lost the most significant office of his political career, then liberals and conservatives of this country certainly can as well.

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