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Cutting to the Core

America is waking up to a new president today, a black man at that.

At least that is what I'm predicting since I'm writing this on Election Day.

Now why is Barak Obama the 44th president of the United States and not John McCain?

Is it because McCain picked an inexperienced, right-wing nut-job to be his running mate? Maybe, but I don't think so.

Is it because Obama is a charismatic, natural leader that will help America out of the current mess we find ourselves in? No, although I think he is and he will.

Let's be honest. I think the country is fairly evenly split. For argument's sake I'll say the U.S. is roughly split 40-40 among Republicans and Democrats. That leaves roughly 20 percent of Americans who decide every election. What made those 20 percent vote for history, putting an African-American in the highest office for the first time?

I think it was George W. Bush.

Sixty percent of Americans are sick of his policies. They are sick of the secrecy. They are sick of the world hating us because Bush fudged evidence so he could conduct an illegal war in Iraq.

I for one am sick of being the bad guy. Abu Ghraib, remember that place? It was once a place where Saddam Hussein would order the torture and killings of his suspected enemies.

After the U.S. invaded and took over Iraq, it became the place where Americans would torture and kill our suspected enemies.

Saddam's Abu Ghraib is something the Bush Administration would have used to justify going to war against Saddam. Instead, we became like Saddam. That, I think, upset some Americans, at least 60 percent of them. I know at least 40 percent of Americans thought Abu Ghraib was nothing more than a few college fraternity pranks.

I think 60 percent of Americans are also sick of illegal, secret prisons set up by the CIA under W's approval. I think they are also sick of W. okaying torture. That was something countries like North Korea, Iraq, Iran and other rogue regimes would do.

This election wasn't about redistribution of wealth. It wasn't about socialism. It wasn't about crazy preachers. It wasn't about abortion.

This election was about most of America's absolute disgust with our current president. And because that president was a Republican, McCain never had a shot at winning.

So here's to a fresh start, for both parties. I'm looking forward to seeing Obama mend some broken relationships and garner support for the big push in Afghanistan.

The Republicans can use this opportunity for a fresh start as well.

It's time for them to shed the shackles of the religious right. I don't need a political party to tell me what is morally right or to force their idea of morals on me.

If the religious fanatics are correct I will have to answer to God, not to Republicans.

The Republican core ideals are great. One can argue Republicans were the first ones to fight for women's suffrage. One can argue that Republicans were the first to push for environmentalism when Nixon pushed for the Clean Air Act. And one can argue that slavery would have been around a lot longer if it hadn't been for the Republicans.

I'm not bagging on Democrats because I do like some of the things they stand for, but I find myself identifying with Republican core beliefs over Democrat core beliefs. I just don't identify with the people in charge of the Republican party.

So Americans, both parties mind you, should thank W. for this shift to the left, and I don't see it swerving to the right until someone has the guts to clean house.

Here's to eight years, President Obama.

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