Presidents, Past and Future

November 03, 2008

My lifetime has seen nine presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr.  There have been twelve Presidential elections since I was born, and seven since I was old enough to vote.  The candidates I’ve supported have been on the losing side more than the winning; my record is 2 and 5.  This year’s election marks the eighth time I will have voted for a President, and the first time in a long time I’ve felt like I was going to be pleased with the results on the day after.

Living in Kansas means my vote for Senator Barack Obama won’t matter, at least not in the Electoral College, as Kansas is unfortunately firmly in the “red” category.  However, I am proud to be able to vote, and proud to cast my vote for someone who represents so much change, so much promise, so much hope. Not just hope for America, but hope for the world.

Sibylle and I have friends, and family, in Europe and South America.  They all want to see an Obama Presidency over a McCain one.  I hope that America delivers him to the world Wednesday morning as President-Elect Barack Obama.

My parents had President Kennedy and the feeling of Camelot in the early Sixties.  My generation now has Barack Obama.  I fervently hope that his administration extends the full potential of the next eight years. The next President will face some huge issues, and no matter how successful he is, many Americans and many abroad, will be hurt by the turmoil that comes with change.  The financial crisis is global and will not be solved overnight or without some cost to all of us on Earth.  My hope for the next four years is that we give the new administration a chance to make change, a chance to succeed.  My fear is that the hurry-up, quick-fix, short-attention span lifestyle so many in America have embraced will expect nirvana within days of Senator Obama’s election, and few will have the patience to nurture change and cultivate its promise.

Regardless of your stance on this election, if you haven’t already, go vote.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.