Election Perspective

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

Barack Obama and Joe Biden celebreate their election victory in Chicago

For now, progressives must savor the election of Barack Obama. It is a monumental achievement in many ways, a testimony to the power of grass roots organization, hard work and imagination. Obama may not be everything progressives want, but he is a mighty fine start, and an opening for serious change.

The victory was not just a progressive one, but one of civility and decency - proof that politicians do not need to embarrass themselves with dirty tricks and vicious smears.

Obama ran a campaign based on ideas, open mindedness, compassion and intelligence. His mantra was one of change and hope as opposed to bitterness and fear. McCain appealed to the worst of us, while Obama the best. They may only be symbols, language appealing to our inner psyches, but they are important in a time of deep cynicism and mistrust. Whether Obama can translate his incredible campaign into meaningful policy remains to be seen, but the ground work has been done to begin the transformation. It is up to the people to keep Obama to his promises, but so far he has delivered, and delivered well.

The next few weeks will be crucial, as we will learn about Obama's political team, his specific policy proposals and his ability to maintain his momentum. One thing is for sure though, that change has finally come to America.