The Marc Steiner Show

Change We Cannot Quit On by Stavros Halkias

Here are some thoughts written late last night by CEM intern and UMBC student Stavros Halkias.  We’d like to encourage everyone to send in their post-election thoughts.  Post comments here, email us at, or call us on the air today between 5-6pm at 410-319-8888.

Voting for the first time in my life was legitimately exciting. From the moment I entered my polling place, which happened to be my elementary school, I was overcome with emotion. In the building where I first learned what the office of the president was, I would have a hand in choosing the next person to occupy that office. Even better, I was supporting a candidate I actually believed in and held incredible hopes for. My nerves and elation were held together by an overarching sense of purpose. I was part of a societal change, with my ballot serving as tangible proof. Why can’t I feel like this everyday? Why can’t every day be Election Day? 

Despite these feelings, as I walked out of that polling station I couldn’t help but wonder “What’s next?” Barack Obama had the kind of campaign and following that was unprecedented in this nation’s history. His campaign deposed Democratic royalty in the primaries, broke all kinds of fundraising records, and truly inspired vast numbers of people for the first time in decades. The sobering realization I came to was that campaigns and administrations are two very different things. Historically, the energy campaigns create largely dies after the immediate goal of election is met. We can’t allow that to happen this time. All the people who voted for Barack Obama on Tuesday, all the people that were part of the historic movement for change in our country, must challenge themselves further.  To borrow a few words from the President elect’s victory speech, “This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.”

So, don’t let things go back to the way they were before Barack came along. Don’t rely solely on his administration to make change. Let Barack Obama’s election be the beginning–not the end–of your efforts. Become more civically involved. Start helping your community in any way you can. Identify problems and work towards them yourself. Volunteer. Tutor at-risk youth. Protest injustice. Support more change-minded politicians. Study social change movements. Do something! Take the energy you put into the campaign and move it to your community, don’t let it go to waste. Don’t just get excited and wait for change– make change and make everyday Election Day.

-Stavros Halkias

Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. Biggest voter turn out since women first got the right to vote 90 years ago! That is something to be proud of no matter what. We now know we have a voice, let’s use it!

  2. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling now that it’s post election. As much as I want to celebrate Obama’s history-in-the-making win, Obama will still be facing some hard times. And we need to face it with him. The hype generated from Obama’s campaign was beyond awesome. I have never felt such an incredible movement in my lifetime, yet I fear that it’s been dying down since we left the polls. The momentum needs to keep going from there or else I fear we’ll go back to our old ways of depending too much on government to fix our problems (and based on recent events, we know that we haven’t been too satisfied from doing that). That will basically go against what Obama and all of us have been campaigning for.

    We shouldn’t look at Obama as the solution, but inspiration for all of us to run up there to front with him in this movement of change. What we need to do is to keep stepping up and take more ownership in this country before we let government continue to make decisions for us without our active participation. Voting in this election has been a great start and most definitely not the end. Let’s keep it going, please.

  3. Obama should publish another book, this one to be a collection of his campaign speeches.

    I’ve spent much of today listening to C-SPAN Radio. Two things were of notable interest. One was a discussion hosted by the editors and reporters of the inside-the-campaigns issue.

    Chapter links are in the "Secrets…" banner.

    The other was a discussion by Brian Lamb and a historian-author comparing Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama.


    A captain does not earn a reputation for greatness by driving a ship in a straight line in calm seas.

    Our community is in dire straits, and we need a great leader. We won’t know for a while if Obama is such a leader, but I think he is. I think history will judge that we were fortunate to have such a leader available at a time of great need, and that he agreed to take the job. I don’t intend this to be hyperbole.

    Rahm Emanuel said Barack is equivalent to the Jewish name Baruch, which means Blessed in Hebrew. I hope Obama is blessed, because if he is, we are.

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