On Nov. 4, Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States. Here are 10 things you need to know about the election.
1. Obama won fair and square. More Americans voted for him than voted for Republican Sen. John McCain, and Obama achieved a decisive victory in the electoral vote. That is the way our country works. Blacks make up roughly 14 percent of the population. They couldn't have elected Obama by themselves. A lot of whites voted for him, too.
2. When I was growing up, blacks couldn't eat where I ate, go to school where I went or sit on the bus where I sat. Now a black man is going to become our president. Whether you like him or not, the fact that he is president-elect speaks volumes for the United States.
There is no limit to what a person can accomplish in this country, if he or she is willing to make the effort. Obama has proven that. So everyone stop whining. This is a great country.
3. We the people are still in charge. Voters threw out the Democrats in Washington in 1994 and put the Republicans in charge. (Remember the Republican Revolution?) In 2006, we threw out the Republicans, and this year we threw more of them out. And if we don't like the way the Democrats treat us, we can toss them in 2010.
Voters gave George H. W. Bush only one term as president because he reneged on his promise not to raise taxes. We can limit Obama to one term if we choose, or we can elect him to a second term if he does a good job. It is our decision.
4. I predict that I will receive the same number of letters from readers telling me that Obama is not their president and that the world is coming to an end as I received from readers telling me that George W. Bush was not their president and the world was coming to an end. Bush was everybody's president, and Obama will be everybody's president and the world isn't coming to an end unless Tech beats Georgia this November.
5. The good news: We will no longer have to endure President Peanut traipsing around the world telling everybody how bad the current president is and how wonderful he is. Even if you don't like Obama, you've got to really like that.
6. The bad news: I suspect liberal weenies Robert Redford and Alec Baldwin are happy that Obama won and won't move to France as they had threatened to do when Bush won in 2004. That hurts. Their departure would have been a marked improvement for both countries.
7. Our Ambassador to Outer Space, Cynthia McKinney, ran a valiant race for the presidency on the Green Party ticket here on Earth. Good for her. Now, she can head back to Pluto where she belongs and deal with important extraterrestrial matters.
8. Bob Barr didn't fare too well as the Libertarian candidate. He had hoped to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act he co-sponsored while in Congress so that boys can marry boys and girls marry girls. Surprisingly, the oft-times loopy state of California did pass a ban on gay marriages, which means San Francisco as we know it may cease to exist, a fact that distresses me about as much as Robert Redford and Alec Baldwin moving to France.
9. Sarah Palin never had a chance. The geniuses running the McCain campaign prepared her poorly, and the national media ripped her apart. This, of course, is the same media that gave motormouthed Joe Biden a pass on his gaffes.
Can you imagine what the media would have done to Palin had she asked, as Biden did, a man in a wheelchair to stand up and be recognized? Katie Couric would have wet her britches.
10. For the 44th time in 220 years, we have freely elected our president. In that period, we have never had a military coup or a violent overthrow of our government.
The system works. Don't forget it.
Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; Web site.