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AND NOW THE REAL CHALLENGE

by | Feb 25, 2009 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

Now we’ll see what it means to be a “great American.”

For nearly eight years, anyone who dared to criticize President George W. Bush risked being called unpatriotic. The people doing this name calling are mourning John McCain’s loss today.

We’ll soon see if it’s about country or party. Remember, if you need to support the president to be a “great American,” critics must get behind Barack Obama or risk total hypocrisy.

In truth, all of us need to get behind him. What lies before us is bigger than any party. We need to climb out of a huge hole – together. If Bush supporters now sign on as full-time critics of Obama, all we have done is flip the pancake of hatred onto its other side.

Look. We did something incredible Tuesday. We looked beyond historic labels and prejudices and elected the person we thought could do the best job. Kids who once thought the presidency was never for people like them can share in that dream. That’s important. It shows, in time, we can let go of certain divisions within our hearts.

If we can do the same with party partisanship, our country will have a brighter future. If not, we will have taken little from this moment, which would be a shame, for it is a moment from which a lot can be learned.

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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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