Only continued involvement will make it all worth it
Even political junkies will be breathing a sigh of relief after today.
For those who win, there will be a short period of jubilation, followed by years of hard work as they try to implement the policies and plans that gained the voters' trust.
For those who lose, there will be a period of regrouping, licking of wounds and analysis, followed by years of hard work as they try to implement their own ideas using a system controlled by their opponents.
There may be armies of lawyers observing voting in closely contested areas of the country, but unlike other countries involved in a transfer of power, there will be no tanks and troops massed to seize control by force.
It will be a memorable day in U.S. history if Barack Obama is victorious as the polls indicate he will be. Change was inevitable because of term limits, but the first African-American president will have arrived in office years before many observers thought it might be possible.
Regardless of the outcome, there will be a role for those of all political persuasions, as America grapples with deadly serious issues such as the financial crisis, national debt and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A wise leader will seek out the best ideas and best advice to find the solutions to those problems.
Yes, it's been a hard-fought campaign on both the national and local levels, but if it results in the average voter feeling a larger sense of ownership in the process of governing, it will be well worth it.