Well, here we are, Millennials. Here we are with our new President-Elect, Barack Obama. Here we are, chanting "Yes we can!" I'll be honest. I cried tonight. I shook with joy and amazement. I cheered and ran a victory lap through the hallway in my dorm. I wore my Obama shirt today. And I feel important. I feel as if I've made a difference. I feel as if this election is the most important election I'll face in my lifetime — now, whether or not this is true, I don't know, as I have many more elections to face in the future — and knowing that it is my first year of voting makes it even more special, sweet, astounding. I love my life and I love my country and I say this with pride, the strongest surge of pride I've felt in years.
And I'll say this, too: I have a huge amount of respect for John McCain. He's worked hard for this country over the years, a country that he truly loves. How can you not respect somebody who wants to better your life in the best way they think possible? So yes, I respect John McCain. I may not agree with his ideals, his platform, but I respect him and his right to believe what he believes. I hope his post-election life is a rewarding and comfortable one, because he deserves it, he truly does.
Whether or not you agree with me on the issues, on who the next president will be, I hope everyone agrees that it's time to unite, to become one country working for common goals of improving the economy and global relations, to promote peace, freedom, education, love. It's time to learn how to compromise and respect. It's time to break down the walls that seperate the people of this country and prove that we can be united, prove that we can embrace our differences and use them to understand and love one another. It's time to press on, time to work towards the future, time to fight hate and promote love.
This is why I voted for Barack Obama. This is why I cried tonight. This is why I believe in my country.
And this is why it's time for bed. Because I have to get up in the morning and prove that I deserve the education that I'm receiving, that I deserve the life I'm living, that I deserve the right to cast my ballot and vote for the next president. Good night, everyone. I'm counting down to January 20th, 2009.