Wednesday, November 05, 2008

On Hope

Tuesday night the kids knew something was up because we were watching TV before they went to bed. They tried to stay up, too, but we sent them to bed. Anna kept coming out for updates. She wanted to know for sure when Obama won, so she could do a victory dance.

She was asleep when we went in to tell her he was called the winner. But the next morning, it was her first question. I told her that he'd won, and people all over the country were dancing.

Anna ran in to tell sleeping Colin. "Guess who the new president is?" Colin said, "Varack Ovama?" YES!

Anthony had stayed up until 2am watching the reaction and chatting with Jessica, our former babysitter who just started Law School in Chicago (you must read her post about being there). Anthony was in a daze, happy, relieved, and amazed by the spontaneous outpouring of people in New York, Washington DC, LA, and even London, Australia, etc.

This election night has been so unique. I remember in 2000 being amazed the winner still wasn't certain the next morning - in fact we didn't know for a month. And I was surprised by how depressed I was when Bush was reelected in 2004 - not that the alternative choice was that great. Then Bush declared he had a mandate to push through his policies, capital that he intended to spend. His hubris was nauseating.

This time around was different, and not just because my candidate won. McCain gave a gracious and moving concession speech, and reminded us of the old honorable McCain we admired before he embarked on a Rovian campaign. Obama's speech was also moving, especially since he said he would listen to those who didn't vote for him. It wasn't a gloating victor's speech, but a uniting, positive vision for the future. Then, the spontaneous outpouring of celebration. We were proud of our country, for electing a black man, for taking a positive step in the midst of so much bad news, for the respect the two opponents showed each other. For, despite recession, war, and partisan divisions, daring to hope.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

And isn't wonderful that no one need use the color of their skin as an excuse as to why they can't succeed in this country? From this day forward, each of us knows that we only need the desire to work hard and persevere to reach our goals. This election proved that race cannot hold an individual back; one can only do that to themself.

EdamameMommy said...

yes, but dear crunchy Austin sister, I must add that this change is stirring the prejudice dust bunnies out of the corners of our country. It does amaze my naively open mind that so many we love are so scared of the future under a non-whitey leader. THis is good. Uncomfortable to witness the shock and insular nature of many around us, but good to eradicate lingering bigotry in our time. Oh yes we can!

Boilerdad said...

I guess I am truly colorblind. I view this process (naively?) a little differently. I am proud of my country for recognizing the best candidate for the time. All the other crap (the stuff that really does not matter) is irrelevant.

Emily said...

Very well-written.
Yea for Hope! I definitely felt a sense of hope and promise for our nation's future, something I haven't felt in a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

Should race have anything to do with electing the best candidate? While a biracial president may be the best 'color' representative of our mixed nation, choosing the leader with the best platform to move our country forward is what is most important. Voting for or against someone simply because of the color of their skin (or gender) is the worst kind of racism (or sexism).

get2eric said...

I am NOT moving to Canada!

Jess said...

It definitely was one of those nights that I know people will ask, "Where were you when Barack Obama was elected president?" And it's one of those things I'll tell my children, "I was there. It was amazing, just look!"

It's a bright future! Such a bright and hopeful future! It's so amazing!!! So beautiful! So invigorated! Too many adjectives to describe what it's like.

Change has come!

mr man said...

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.

Hit it.