Winning and losingIn the U.S. presidential election just ended, it was moving to see the candidates at the moment when the winner and the loser were decided.
In their respective speeches, the winner praised the loser and the loser accepted the result, making it a beautiful and touching scene to watch.
The two candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, battled fiercely for months and campaigned nearly two years, probably the longest and hardest-fought in U.S. history. But as soon as the election results came out they were the first to demonstrate reconciliation and unity.
John McCain, the Republican Party presidential candidate, praised Barack Obama, saying that he respected the president-elect for having given hope to countless Americans. McCain also swore that he would do his best to help Obama overcome the crisis that the United States is in.
McCain even asked supporters who were heckling Obama during the speech to restrain themselves. This shows that he is a patriot in the truest sense who puts national interest before his own.
In doing so, McCain proved his campaign slogan, “Country First,” was not merely words. He exemplified his slogan by his own actions.
Obama also described McCain as a brave and altruistic leader. To McCain’s supporters, Obama said he would listen to their opinions and ask for their help.
In fact, this is nothing new in the history of U.S. politics. In 2004, John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, accepted defeat, saying, “In an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans.”
In the 2000 presidential election, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party went to court over disputed results. But Al Gore, the Democratic candidate, conceded in the end, preventing extreme confusion.
The power of U.S. democracy stems from these customs in which winners embrace losers and losers accept results.
Some Korean politicians are busy emphasizing their alignment with Obama, claiming they had predicted Obama’s victory, or that they have links to him.
Instead of working on “Obama marketing,” they’d do better learning a lesson about mature politics from the outcome of the U.S. election.