Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jones: Putting Partisan Politics Aside

Sometimes, partisan politics needs to be put aside, and as we prepare for the inauguration of President- Elect Barack Obama, I can't think of a better time to do just that. While the presidential campaign of 2008 did not end in my party's favor, one can't help but take great pride in the magnitude of what Senator Obama and our country as a whole have achieved. Every American should take a step back to examine just how far our country has come.

In my lifetime, African-Americans were forced to sit in the back of buses, drink from separate water fountains and were the victims of segregation. Slowly over the years, barriers were broken down and this year, we will swear in our first African-American President. It will be a moment in history that we should all appreciate and remember.

President Abraham Lincoln, the founder of the Republican Party and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a Republican, dedicated their careers to fighting for racial equality. Both men, from two very different backgrounds worked to accomplish the same dream, and today that dream is closer to a reality.

2008 was a year of firsts. Along with Obama's historic win, we saw Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin fight gender issues ona national scale. In fact, it was the first election cycle in our great nation's history, that no matter what the outcome, it would indeed be historical.

Today, citizens, parents and children nationwide can rest comfortably knowing that the sky is truly the limit. Whether you're black, white, Asian or Hispanic, male or female, each citizen is blessed to know now that his or her goals and ambitions can be achieved and that every and any American son or daughter can actually grow up to be President. Cultural and gender makeup no longer determines or hampers your success, but instead enables you to strive to truly be the best you can be.