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Tom Gerdy

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We Are All Blended-Americans!

Posted: 06/09/08 04:40 PM ET

Like many other people in this country, the entire primary season wore my butt out. I am one exhausted American. The good news is that history was made. The bad news is that history was made.

Some of the 'good news' history included the following positives. The candidates who made the short list came from very diverse backgrounds. A variety of religions, heritages, and regions of the country were represented. There were at least two different sexes represented as well. In many of the primaries more voters than ever before participated. Young voters got excited about the elections. They saw a chance to influence the direction of our country and realized the first step in that process was the step into the voting booth. It seemed that people everywhere realized that history was being made and they didn't want to stand on the sidelines.

The 'bad news' history came on several different fronts. More money than ever before was spent for the candidates' dog and pony shows. The numbers are simply mind boggling. We can only dream of how the world could have moved forward if the money was directed at some of our country's people related challenges. Another piece of negative history involved some of the media attempting to create news from nothing on a regular basis. The candidates couldn't break wind without it being a media driven national debate about whether their dietary habits were good for the country. It got very old very early in the campaign. Unfortunately, many of the illusions created by the media and the spin-doctors made Penn and Teller look like a couple of rookies.

However, the most important news of the entire campaign has to be the fact that we moved much closer to a Blended-America. Barack Obama is the son of a man from Kenya, a woman from Kansas and he was born in Hawaii. I guess that makes him an African-American in the truest sense of the word. The number you use depends on whose spin you listen to, but many millions of people said that they were alright with this African-American as a presidential candidate. The term melting pot didn't surface because we have remained separated by our nationalities, religions and general backgrounds. Many more people have accepted that we are really all Blended-Americans.

I am not really big on the hyphenated monikers that involve past generations. I understand being proud of your heritage, but above all I am proud to be an American. If you want to get technical about this whole hyphenation thing, my kids would really be in trouble. When my wife and I combined our backgrounds, the resulting hyphenated tags for our children became British-Cherokee-Austrian- Hungarian-African-Italian-Americans. As far as I am concerned, I am an American and so is Barack Obama.

On just a little side note as a sports fan, I like the fact that Barack plays one of America's games, basketball. It appears that he has a decent game but I am pretty sure that he couldn't stop my patented 'through the legs, up and under finger roll scoop shot." Yes, I am talking a bit of trash even though I am an old white (Blended-American) boy who really can't jump. Bring it on Barry!

The point of my ramblings is not that we all have to vote for Barack Obama for president. O.K., I have to admit I am feeling very proud of the historic statement that our country made with this nomination. Even though there is still plenty of work to do, we made a statement that we are a step closer to a Blended-America and a United-America.

Another significant part of my feelings of pride comes from the grass roots nature of the statement America made. Millions of people who hadn't stepped up before got involved and the world changed. It is a wonderful lesson about action and participation. The message is that we need everyone somewhere and somehow to play a role in changing the world for the better. It has never been better articulated than when Peace Pilgram said, "One little person giving all her time to peace makes news. Many people giving some of their time can make history." So get involved and stay involved because history rests is in our Blended-American hands.