It's time to concede this election

My fellow Americans,

We reached a point Tuesday evening where we were forced to face the inevitability of the day’s events, and accept the reality that we came up short in our bid to lead this great nation over the next four years. This is not a time to mourn our loss, or wonder what could have been.

No, my friends, it’s time to set about the business of healing this nation’s divide and move forward in supporting the leadership of Barack Obama as a united nation intent on moving forward as one.

Besides, anybody who watched this thing unfold could tell that it was obviously rigged. Sam Harvey and I were never given the media attention that the “major parties” got, and we seemed to get penalized for not getting on the ballot, campaigning, raising money, staying out of Bolivian prisons...

But I digress.

The voters spoke, and they spoke loudly. They spoke for change. They spoke for new beginnings. They spoke for hope. And they spoke for Mr. Obama.

I’m proud to have Barack Obama lead us in the future, just as I’d have been proud to be under the leadership of John McCain, had the voters elected him into office. We as a nation are facing many challenges, both foreign and domestic. Our economy is in pain. Our young men and women are risking their lives overseas for the ideals and beliefs of Americans. And reality television is still on the air. Tough times demand tough answers, and I believe Mr. Obama and his staff are up to the challenges that await them.

So, where do Sam and I go from here? Do we go to the private sector and demand as much as $5 for each speaking engagement? Do we just wipe away our disappointment over the election and try to regroup for another challenge four years down the road? Do we take the money left over from our campaign funds and buy a candy bar to share?

Well, we’ll probably just get together and play cards Friday night.

See, Sam and I entered this race to offer an alternative to the disenfranchised in this nation. We wanted people to have a choice other than the two parties that often dominate national and local elections. We wanted to be, basically, “None of the Above.”

And what we ended up being was “None.”

Yes, Americans never really did gravitate to our campaign. Perhaps it’s because we lacked the panache and finances of H. Ross Perot. Or because we didn’t have the name recognition and singular cause of Ralph Nader. Or, maybe, it’s because America saw us as two doofuses who couldn’t run an ice cream stand in the Mojave Desert.

Regardless, we failed to capture the public’s imagination, and we ended the election sitting on the outside and watching others celebrate.

I’ve heard many opine that this has been an historic election since the nation voted in an African-American president. Allow me to argue that history might indeed look back at this time as a sea change in American politics, but as Americans, we have to look at it a different way — we voted in a man who campaigned brilliantly, raised money tirelessly and preached a message of hope and change that swept away many.

And he happens to be African-American.

See, we can pat ourselves on the back over and over again for voting in an African-American president, but if we do so, we’re wrong. We voted in a qualified man to do a job we feel he is capable of doing. End of story.

Hopefully, this election does indeed spark hope in many Americans that anything is possible. We’ve seen Barack Obama emerge from a candidate that people didn’t have much faith in winning the Democratic primary to claiming the presidency. Joe Biden came from tiny Delaware and assumes the vice-precidency. John McCain was a prisoner of war, and had to fight uphill the entire election to get where he was. And Sarah Palin rose from her position as governor of Alaska to come close to becoming the first woman vice president in this nation’s history.

Folks, anything is indeed possible in this great nation.

I ask all of my supporters, both of you, to take this loss in stride and move forward in supporting Mr. Obama in taking this nation to new heights. This is not a time to mourn — it is a time to celebrate. This is not a time for sour grapes — it is a time for graciousness and proudly taking on this new challenge as a united nation. It is not a time to walk around with our heads down — it is time to show the world that we elected this man through a pure process that allows us to select our leadership.

Mr. Obama, we proudly offer you our support and confidence as you take the reins.

Even if we got ripped off.