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Posted by zeakster on November 12, 2008

Burrus Hails Election Results
As Signifying ‘The System Has Changed’

APWU Web News Article #104-08, Nov. 5, 2008

“America came together last night, and perhaps has begun a new chapter in the history of our democracy,” APWU President William Burrus said during a celebration at union headquarters on Wednesday. “We have turned a page. Leaders in this country can be elected on their merits and not on their politics.”


Burrus said that many in the media were telling the wrong story. “Certainly we’re pleased that the candidate we supported has won, and we will do all we can to help make his presidency a success, but that was not what last night was all about.

“As you listen to the pundits on the radio or TV, or look at news stories in the papers and on the Internet, you should realize that many are getting the story line wrong,” he told union officers and staff. “Too many news reports are focusing on the historical significance of an African American being elected to the nation’s highest office … As momentous an achievement as that is, that is not what this election was all about.

“Barack Obama did not run as an African-American candidate. He did not ask for votes as an African-American candidate,” Burrus said. “That’s not what last night was all about or what today’s story should be all about.”

“Many issues are bigger than skin color — global warming, the threat of a serious recession or depression — these are far more important than the color of Barack Obama’s skin.”


The story line the day after this historic election, the union president said, is that the American political system has changed. “Sixty million Americans said, ‘Not this time: We’re not going to elect a candidate based on lies and distortions.’ Yesterday the voters said, ‘We’re going to vote for an individual based upon what he’s going to do for this country.’ That is the real story of this election.”

“This will carry on into future elections, whether we elected a black president or not, that won’t mean much in the future,” Burrus said. “It would far surpass any other achievement if the individual who is elected can be responsible for changes to the system.”


The election results symbolized “a rejection of an ideology that rewards those at the top who believe that prosperity will trickle down,” Burrus said. “It was a rejection of negative politics. Negative campaigning didn’t work. Not this time.”

For Obama’s opponents, “it was all about distortions and lies, especially in the last few weeks,” he said. “Well, it just didn’t work in 2008 and now maybe they’ll try something else in 2012. Maybe we’ll deal with the issues, instead of the accusations — not what church a candidate goes to, but where he stands on the issues, such as wages, taxes, jobs. That was the story yesterday: How we possibly are on the road to changing the entire system.”

“It didn’t work this time,” Burrus said. “The McCain campaign went back to the old playbook — in the commercials and the stump speeches they resorted to the time-honored tradition of tearing down an opponent rather than engaging in an honest discussion of the issues. They dug deep into that box of dirty tricks and it didn’t work. Not this time. Sixty million Americans said ‘not … this … time.’ ”

“You’re talking about the future of our planet and the political story is Joe the Plumber, an opportunist from Toledo, Ohio.” Long after the man himself and the whole concept behind him had been discredited, “They continued to try to present him as a justification for voting for their candidate.”

“But the American public yesterday said, ‘No, not this time. We’re not going for that this time. We’re going to look at the platform of the candidates, we’re going to look at what they’re going to do about our economy, about healthcare, about the issues that are important.”

“That’s what Obama focused on,” Burrus said. “Color didn’t matter. He did not get elected because he was black, he got elected because he talked about the issues. … This is a new day in American politics.”

In the midst of the primary season, on April 9, the National Executive Board of the APWU voted unanimously to endorse the man who will now be the nation’s 44th president, with Burrus saying that “Sen. Obama’s message is one of hope and change. His message is special, and the timing is right.”

“His ability to bring new participants into our nation’s democratic process,” Burrus said after the NEB vote, “to get young people involved, and to persuade ordinary citizens that they have a real stake in politics — is an inspiration.”

Burrus echoed these sentiments on Wednesday, nearly seven months after the APWU endorsement. “Too often we sit on the sidelines and do nothing. But Democracy is all about participation. It’s not just about paying your taxes, letting someone else take part for you. Democracy only works if those who are governed are helping to govern.

“That’s the real story line of yesterday’s election. We have all learned a lesson on how important is to take part, to help make change.

“Yesterday’s election was a victory for American democracy. The people truly did do the deciding.”



  1. zeakster said

    yeah there is change comming like the laying off of 40000 postal employees good luck guys and gals looks like your union leadership is the same as everyone elses

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