I know, I know. There are some people out there that are unhappy that Obama won. There are some people out there that are mad that Obama won. And, according to one of my students, there are some people out there threatening to kill Obama.
I was shocked and horrified when my student related this bit of information this morning. Apparently, people were writing these hateful messages on Facebook. First, I want to ask these horrid people if any of them even bothered to listen to McCain's concession speech. McCain's speech last night was not only well-delivered, but it was classy and showed that McCain had a level of sophistication rarely seen before last night. I thought the best part was when he stated that he would support Obama as his President, because he is, and we all are, citizen of this great country. Second, I want to point out to these horrible, bloodthirsty people that threatening to kill a Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate or the President or Vice President (even in jest) IS A CRIME. Seriously. The Secret Service will come for you.
I know this because when I was a senior in college I was the Opinion Page editor for the campus newspaper. One of my columnists joking wrote that he advocated the assassination of one of the Presidential candidates because he thought either of the VP candidates would be better suited for the job. The Secret Service came to his house. The Secret Service came to campus. I spent an hour talking with Bruce, the Secret Service man, about whether or not I thought this columnist was serious... was he anti-social... did he have friends... did he often state he thought candidates should be killed... Needless to say, now this columnists name is on a Secret Service list somewhere and will be for all time. So, the moral of this little story is that not only are this type of extreme negative and hateful comments unbecoming to an American citizen, but they are also (and rightly) illegal. Everyone has the right to disagree with their neighbor. But if we really want positive change in our country (something both McCain and Obama are striving for) then we have to work together and support our country.
Anyway, I had started this blog as a happy blog. I wanted to talk (like many people are talking) about how we have a new and bright future for our country. I want to celebrate Obama's victory, not just as the personal victory of a great candidate, but as a victory for American ideals. Last night millions of people saw their own futures when Obama stepped onto that stage in Grant Park. They saw themselves going to college. They saw themselves with good jobs, helping each other, making a difference. They saw and hoped and believed that they CAN achieve their dreams.
So, to conclude, I'd like to quote a little Stephen Colbert for you all (I hope that's OK, Stephen). First, a tip of the hat to Barack Obama. You fought a hard race, ran a great campaign, and were elected the 44th President of the United States. I can't wait to see what you will do with this victory. Second, a wag of the finger to all those horrible people spewing out hate after this amazing election. If you voted for McCain, I will still respect you and appreciate your views. However, if you can't follow McCain's lead and get on board in trying to make the next four years better than the last four, then you should be ashamed of yourself. You are letting down your candidate, your neighbor, and your country.
The story behind the name:
One evening, at the Old Broadway Grill in Fargo, North Dakota, my brother caught the end of a Mountain Dew commercial. In the commercial, a Mountain Dew drinker was riding a shark in the ocean. My brother exclaimed in surprise, not realizing that it was a commercial. When I told him he declared "All I saw was a guy coming out of the shower with a shark." Of course, he meant water, but the idea of showering with sharks has been with me ever since.