As I write this, there are a lot of BlueNCers still online. But it's become clear that, at least as far as NC-08 is concerned, it won't be over tonight. We'll have lots to discuss and pick apart over the coming days and weeks. Moreover, we have a lot to celebrate: nationally, Democrats are on the march; Heath will be representing our mountain counties in January, leaving Taylor time to find out once and for all whether it's possible to swim in money (a la Scrooge McDuck); and all of Art Pope's money couldn't buy control of the state legislature. You helped with all of this, and you should feel proud.
And amidst the anxiety, analysis, and much-deserved self congratulation, I just want to plant the seed of a conversation we'll need to start having pretty soon: what's our plan for North Carolina?
Before the 2005 elections, BlueNC as we know it didn't really exist. In the 46 weeks and 2 days since we moved from a simple blog to this community website, more than 600 people have signed up for accounts. Several truly impressive citizen-journalists have signed on and made BlueNC their home base for digging out the stories behind the stories in NC politics.
We've seen our thoughts and ideas covered in the state's major newspapers, and we've made sure that those on the other side—from the well-funded free-marketeers in Raleigh to certain Krazies in Kinston—have to listen when we talk.
In short, in just a year, you have established the foundation for a real force in North Carolina politics. I'm not talking about a blog, or even a community forum. In BlueNC we have a nascent grass-roots policy organization operating in an independent, community supported environment. And if we see even a fraction of the growth rate over the next election cycle that we've experienced in the past year, you can expect BlueNC to be well on its way to forming the ideas and the people that will lead this state in years to come.
So, for now, just think about it. Anyone here, from Anglico and TarGator to our newest user (that would be you, blawson), can step in and take an active role in determining what happens next.
For now, though, there are still votes to be counted and electoral mysteries to be plumbed.