Just twenty-four hours ago, for those of us who would have liked to see a change at the top, hope was on the way. I like that John Edwards is saying that they won't stop fighting for us, and neither will I. I still believe that the Democrats have it right about health care, education, the war in Iraq and, yes the war on terror. To use Senator Kerry's own words today, there is still a hope and a vision for a better America, but a need now for healing and hopefully a walk together upon common ground.
As we begin to analyze what happened, I'm not sure we'll be able to pinpoint just what it was that swayed this election. It's remarkable to me that at a time of mounting deficits and debt, ongoing fatalities in Iraq, job losses and a not-very-robust stock market, that the buck will still stop at the desk of the person who has been the prime mover in these debacles. But rather than be angry about an outcome not of our choosing, Democrats need to, as John Kerry said, "bridge the partisan divide." We need to be crystal clear in expressing a vision for America that includes better health care, stronger environmental polices, a reasonable tax structure and a respect for our military that includes making sure its missions are not mired, but admired. Some on my side have been more angry than reasonable, more bitter than hopeful. This kind of attitude will only prolong the years Democrats must spend in the desert. It's already contributed to being there in the first place.
I got an email today from a conservative. Subject was "Drop Dead." It read: "Colmes, you and your Democrat party had it shoved where it belongs. Your line of lies, misrepresentation, denigration of the President, the Presidency and our troops didn't sell - and that's across the board. Why not try some other line of work - say, the Priesthood, where a modicum of honesty is required. Suppose now you and your fellow liars will start claiming Hilly-bitch as the next Messiah. Go ahead. She's just another loser."
Nothing like being gracious in victory. Let them send the nasty emails and keep up the mean-spirited divisiveness. Democrats need to be not only gracious in defeat, but positive about the future. This election could easily have gone the other way. I believe next time it will because, as Senator Kerry said, our country is not only great, it's good, because there is a natural cycle to things, because Congressional elections are just two years away. And because hope is on the way.
Alan Colmes joined FOX News Channel in 1996. He served as the liberal counterpart and co-host of "Hannity & Colmes," a one-hour debate-driven talk show focusing on controversial newsmakers and issues of the day.