Responses to the election of Barack Obama
to the US Presidency
Dear DomLife.org readers:
Thank you for your swift responses to the election of Barack Obama
to the US Presidency. There were about 85 replies all together,
most of which were overwhelmingly positive and about ten expressed
very heartfelt concern about the issue of abortion and pro-life
policies. We received several from Dominicans around the world.
Here is a representative sample:
From Around the World:
My dear American friends,
I want to express my solidarity and my joy for your new president
Obama, I have thought of all of you. This election is giving
me hope even for Europe... Thanks!!!
Dominican Sisters International
heard of Barack Obama's election at a course of lectures that I
am giving to deacons, in the north of England. Everyone was delighted
and agrees that it is a wonderful moment. After years in which
America has increasingly be seen as a country which threatens the
freedom and development of other countries, as giving up on human
rights and consenting to torture, at last here is someone who can
be a figure of hope for the whole planet. But, our heartfelt prayer
is that his life will be spared from some crazy assassin!
Timothy Radcliffe OP,
former Master General, Province of England
The election of Obama seems to be a sad event from the Dominican
point of view because of his anti-life ideas that aren't in accordance
with the basic human rights. Obama cannot be supported by
any Dominican since our calling is the search for Veritas,
the Truth and he doesn't represent it.
Mr. Teemu Heiramo OP
Wonderful news - such as those 20th century 'I
never thought I would see the day' events which we have
witnessed. We need to keep praying that the change which has begun
will continue so that all peoples, not only Americans, will experience
peace and justice in their lives.
Maris Stella McKeown OP
Congratulations for this beautiful election of Obama, which gives
us here in the Middle-East so much joy and hope for a better future. I
know that there is still a long way to go, but at least some hope
has been restored. Everyone here is delighted. Congratulations.
Jean-Jacques Pérennès, op
Dominican Institute of Oriental Studies, Cairo, Egypt
I live in Lima, Peru, and had to go downtown on errands the day
after the election. Literally EVERYONE I met asked where I
was from, and when I answered "from the U.S.", with
a big smile they asked what I thought of the election. When
I said I was very happy and hopeful, their smile grew as they said, "SO
ARE WE!" The conversation was repeated--as if from a
script--on the bus, with the man selling soft drinks at the streetlight,
in the stores... The world awoke today to new hope!
Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP (Springfield)
I am a Bolivian member of the Dominican Order and I work in my
homeland, but I lived ten years in the US and had my primary studies
there. That is the reason why I was very interested in the process
of a new president for the US. Congratulations for having elected
President Obama. I am sure he will be a very good leader for
Oscar Uzin OP (Bolivia)
Sen. Obama’s election as President was a historic moment
not only for the United States but for all who hope for a better
future for all. A Canadian journalist wrote that Barack Obama was
right: “Americans…still believe in an America where
everything is possible”. Americans reshaped their history
by electing the first black president. On election night, when
Obama kept repeating to everyone’s excitement and enthusiasm: “Yes,
we can”, Yes, we can”,…I realized that we are
all in this together..
Philippe LeBlanc, OP
Province of St. Dominic, Canada
Here in Rome, many folks have offered me congratulations on our
elections. International emails are also bringing expressions
of hope for the future. On Wednesday, 5 Nov 08, I awakened
to the alarm I'd set for 5AM. I turned on the TV in time
to hear (live) both McCain's concession and Obama's acceptance
speeches. I noted later in my journal that it felt to me
like the resurrection of the soul of the USA. Today, when
I travel internationally as a citizen of the USA, the embarrassment
and discomfort that usually accompany me begin to be mitigated
Toni Harris OP
International Co-Promoter for Justice and Peace for the Dominican
I celebrate the historical election of Barrack Obama and ask for
God's wisdom and guidance to make him a great leader of our nation
and world. A leader who will bring about true peace and justice
for all humankind and a world that will move toward greater
right relationships with all creation.
May Barrack Obama continue to challenge all of us to be the change
wish to see!
Kathleen Clausen, O.P.
I did not vote for Barack. I work for Right to Life of Michigan
Southeast Macomb. We are interested in life issues: abortion
and Euthanasia. Barack is hard core abortion minded. He
will undo the work pro-life people have worked for. He will
sign the Freedom of Choice Act.
Mary Helen Smolbrook, OP
Adrian Dominican, Great Lakes Dominican Mission Chapter
I am baffled as to what the American public was thinking during
yesterday's election. Barack Obama is a dreamer and an idealist
who has presented a set of unrealistic "changes" that
he says he can make. News flash: it's most likely not going
to happen! I applaud all the young voters who came out and
expressed their opinions, but am extremely concerned for what the
future will hold. I believe that many people did not think
through the long-term implications of electing a president with
socialist ideals to the highest office in the land. For future
elections, I beg you to think before marking your ballot for "change."
Elizabeth Campi, Dominican University of California
San Rafael, CA
To be in Grant Park, [for the celebration] to be a witness to
history, is something I will not forget all the days of my life. I
have a renewed faith in our nation, and I believe, when we work
together, we can build a better home for all.
Anthony Butler, Executive Director
Dominican Volunteers USA
have never had such an emotional reaction to an election result
and cried throughout Barack Obama's acceptance speech. I
believe him to be a very intelligent and caring person and pray
he will maintain his integrity and bring needed policy changes
to this great land. John McCain's concession speech impressed
me and,hopefully, he will work with Obama to help unify the
Patricia Reilley, Associate
St. Mary of the Springs, Columbus
Americans have spoken with their votes. We have a great country
and now more Americans will feel equality. As for the issue
of the rights of the unborn babies, this was trumped last night,
but I believe that the voice of the unborn can still resonate in
the American people. This cause is not lost in the vote for
Barack Obama. There are many good people whose voices will
ring out, and as Barack says, yes we can. We can work together
and make this a country where everyone's voice is heard.
St. Martin de Porres
have elected leaders for our country that hold up a vision that
another world is possible. Our work now is just beginning. We must
all be partners in developing policies and programs that work for
peace and ensure that all citizens have access to a quality of
Sr. Brenda Walsh, OP, Racine Dominican
1968 Robert Kennedy said, "Things are moving so fast
in race relations a Negro could be president in 40 years. There's
no question about it, in the next 40 years a Negro can achieve
the same position that my brother [John] has. Prejudice exists
and probably will continue to, but we have tried to make progress
and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status
quo." President elect Obama is first and foremost a citizen
of the United States of America. As a friend of mine puts it, of
course he will be different from other US Presidents, just like
Kennedy was different from Johnson, or Carter from Reagan, and
Clinton from Bush (the elder). The fact that he is not white coincides
with changes in the history of our civilization. Women also are
moving to positions of executive leadership in greater numbers
on several continents.
Obama may be seen as an indicator of deep changes in our
modern (postmodern) society. Such changes result from an evolving
process, just as current science and technology benefited from
discoveries and failures of the history of science over the past
I dare say that because of prejudice and/or racism, Obama's
flaws and mistakes will be more visible than those of previous
Victor Laroche, OP
Southern Dominican Province
As the US bishops pointed out, no other issue - and no other culmination
of issues - approaches the moral magnitude of the evil of abortion
in our land. Supporting abortion, even supporting pro-abortion
candidates, simply puts our individual souls in peril.
So, after reflection and prayer, I intend to request the Lay Provincial
Executive Committee's support in encouraging the Dominican Laity
throughout the Western Province to fast and pray on behalf of any
future unborn victims of yesterday's elections.
Tony Galati, President
Lay Provincial Council
The most significant words that have come to us from our
new President Elect Barak Obama are: "I need your help!"
Yes, in this democracy the help we must give is our help in the
total disarmament of nuclear weapons in the United States and leadership
in the other Nuclear Weapon nations to do the same. We must
give our help to stop our arms sales to nations, our pursuit of
war-making in any nation ever again. Wars and the killing
of creatures and Earth will never be the way to peace. We
must give our help in strengthening the United Nations, of building
a unity among all peoples and the facilitating of an economy that
benefits all people, especially for basic human necessities of
nourishing food, health care, education, employment, and practice
of faith choices in every country. We must give our help to
the creation of alternative energy sources (not nuclear power)
that will not injure Earth. We must give our help to bring
the nation to a repentance for all the sins of the past committed
within this country and toward all other countries where the U.S.
has extended its empire building.
Sisters Carol Gilbert, OP and Ardeth Platte, OP
I was a few seats behind Martin Luther King Jr in Mason Temple
when he made his "I Have a Dream" speech the night before
he was assassinated. As I listened to Barack Obama's deeply
moving acceptance speech I felt that Martin's dream was fulfilled
and even surpassed.
Sr. Adrian M. Hofstetter, OP (Kentucky)
I have never been so excited about an election until now! The
whole country now has something to be excited about. It's
a new era and I'm so glad to be a part of it. When I voted
yesterday, I took my grand-daughter into the booth with me and
she fully understood what we were doing. I hope she remembers
this historical event.
Sister of Anne Lythgoe, OP
Forty of us gathered at St. Columba - African American Catholic
Church - Oakland,CA to pray and celebrate the resurgence of hope
and the possibility of America regaining its moral fiber. We prayed
for safety for the Obama family; we prayed that all of us will
step up and take on the responsibility to transform our nation.
As we work to end the violence on our city streets, we know that
Obama's election is a model of another way for our youth!
Dominican Sisters of Adrian
President elect Obama's election is an historic event. His
person, campaign and message reflected the multi racial-ethnic
nature of the country and the promise that can be brought about
by unifying that spectacular diversity. He is an intelligent,
reflective and grounded man who despite persistent demonizing stayed
the course, focusing on the common good issues critical to the
well being of the hard working and the most vulnerable people in
this country. He understands the importance of our role
as collaborators, as opposed to dominators, with the
other peoples of the world in the preservation of the planet. And
in so doing, he challenges all of us to be our best selves. I
pray we are up to it.
Jean Hughes, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters
I hope and pray that our new President Obama will return the Democratic
Party to its former task of working for social justice and that
this will include effective efforts to reduce the number of abortions,
by overcoming poverty and promoting education, including family
and pro-life education.
Benedict M. Ashley OP (St. Albert Province)
Congratulations, President-Elect Obama. You give us hope---hope
that our American culture is YET redeemable, hope that the
American spirit CAN be transformed into one of integrity and
self-sacrificing care for the life and welfare of every part of
God's creation. Yes, we CAN!
Jeanne Harris, OP Mission San Jose
I rejoice that this nation has taken a step toward hope and beyond
racism. I feel this man will listen to life issue concerns and
will create a place where those who value choice and those who
value embryonic life can talk. Law or the removal of a law cannot
substitute for value clarification and honest communication. We
can do better as a nation and as strong defenders of life.
Carla Mae Streeter, OP
Estatic! now lets gets on our knees that, with God's help, he
may be able to deliver what he promised.... and for his safety. Let
there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!
Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic, soon to be - Dominic Sisters
WOW! This really is a new moment. I am so excited about Barack
Obama's election and also about the whole movement his candidacy
brought to life. I live in an inner city neighborhood and yesterday
there were lines at the Polls. This has never happened before.
You could feel the Hope in the people and their excitement about
Then last night listening to Obama's victory speech and seeing
the crowd and the emotion. Today people on the streets are smiling,
walking with real energy - they are just happy and so am I. It
is a new moment and I am glad to be experiencing it!
Monica McGloin, OP (Hope)
I am so happy! I haven't felt this way since John Kennedy
I realized last night that our biggest problem in the US is not
the war or the economy, but that we need to come together as one
people. I appreciated John McCain's speech. He showed
his true colors and I realized that we all need to come together. Then
when Barack spoke it was clear to me we need to heal the divisions
and see ourselves as a multi cultural country and that we are all
one. Perhaps our arts can bring us together. We musicians
say, 'Music Is The Universal Language.'
Michael Burke, OP