For many Republicans across the country this morning, the five stages of grieving is an apt representation of their reactions to last night's landslide victory for Barack Obama as the next President of the United States.
The First stage, Denial, was apparent as media networks announced that the election would be a win for Barack Obama. CNN reported that in Alaska, Palin supporters and Republicans were stunned into silence (at least for a whole minute or two).
The Second stage, Anger, was expressed through the crowd's response in Phoenix, AZ. Supporters there booed at the mention of Obama's name during's gracious concession speech.
I saw the Third stage, Bargaining, happening on Twitter about an hour after the results were reported (all of the Republicans who had campaigned heavily on Twitter for a McCain win were unusually silent, if not completely gone, for at least an hour after the announcement). These Twitters began saying things like "okay so he's won, he'd better start fixing things like he planned" and "he'd better live up to his word, we'll be watching".
The Forth stage is Depression. There was a bit of that this morning as conservative pundits provided their thoughts on what went wrong and where to go from here. It was a muted attempt to be gracious, but clearly the blow had been a large one. Republicans are not used to losing this badly, as evidenced by the fact that the last time this happened was 1992 with a Bill Clinton win for President. And even that election wasn't nearly as massive and historic a statement as this year.
And finally the Fifth stage, Acceptance. This is the stage anyone who grieves looks forward to the most. This is the point at which one can assimilate with the happenings in their world, and accept that they cannot always control what goes on around them.
But more important than that, acceptance is the point at which one begins to see again more clearly. A person at this stage can begin to look beyond the hurt and the pain of loss, and begin to put the pieces back together in a way that is more enlightened than before the change occurred.
This is the point at which America grows stronger, and we come together more clearly connected than ever before. When the hate, and the hurt, are a forgotten memory, and all that is left is the hope, and promise for the future.
When this happens, everyone is better off then they were before. Everyone can have hope for a future that connects, instead of divides us all. This is the future that my children will inherit, and in which I am today, one of the proudest Americans alive, and glad to be living in a country where ideals are still a reality, and change can happen without bloodshed. God Bless America, and may we all prosper in the years to come as a result of the historic events we have witnessed this year.