From an optimistic Gary Kamiya at Salon.com:
Only rarely does one know that one is experiencing history while it happens. Barack Obama's victory is one of those occasions. This amazing day marks a decisive change, not just in America's politics but in its soul. It announces the arrival of a new America, of a multitudinous, multihued people whose time has come and who have demanded a politics worthy of them. Their voice echoes across the land from Stone Mountain to Seattle, and its message rings out loud and clear: We have taken our country back.
We have taken it back from the mean-spirited demagogues who were willing to tear the American people apart to stay in power.
We have taken it back from the apostles of selfishness who pretend naked greed is noble individualism.
We have taken it back from the deluded hawks who cavalierly sent our youth off to die in a war that should never have been fought.
We have taken it back from the incompetent officials who lived up to their antigovernment credo by bungling everything they touched.
We have taken it back from the reactionaries whose intolerance, xenophobia and religious zealotry have been encouraged by a distorted Republican Party for far too long.
Some will say that this election didn't prove that much. They will argue that considering Bush's unpopularity, the war and the financial crisis, this race should never have been even competitive. They will say the race was tied in September and only an inept McCain campaign and the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression tilted it toward Obama. They will say that America is still a center-right country.
But those arguments are like dead trees standing in the path of a spring-snow torrent. A great change has come upon America.