Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Did

I'm still in shock a little. Is this real? It seems to be. I've been so used to not winning, I kind of forgot what winning feels like.

To say this is surreal is an understatement, but I feel vindicated. Not because I feel that 'haha, we showed you guys, we beat you!' But because, for once, people turned out and chose hope and dignity over cynicism and playing on people's fears. If there's one thing that sticks with me throughout this election – and indeed American politics for the last decade – is that there has been a push-and-pull between those who tell us we have to be afraid, that we need them to protect us, that we need to walk with God otherwise Satan's forces (in whatever form) will defeat us; and those who take our hands and say 'let's do this together, let's work to build a better future.'

I've always been an optimist. Angela reminded me that I wrote way back in 2004 that I thought Obama would one day be president. I'm glad it has come to pass because it represents the first triumph of the desire for change and hope over the rule of fear and exploitation that has been the hallmark of the neoconservative movement.

I don't think McCain necessarily represented this, but some of his supporters certainly did. There are some especially choice quotes floating around right-wing websites and forums this morning, many of which are simply not worth repeating, linking to or even acknowledging apart from being the reactionary rants of people who just lost an election (and hey, I've been guilty of that myself in the past.) I'll compose a post later about where I think McCain went wrong, because I have something to say about that.

But right now, I'm still stuck in surreal mode. I wanted to run down the Tube car this morning high-fiving everyone there (good way to stick out as the American!) I bought all the newspapers so I have headlines to remember this day when I'm old, because this is history. I want to remember. I want to remember what it feels like to be part of a movement against cynicism, a movement for hope, united if not in geography then in spirit with my fellow Americans and indeed the rest of the world who looks to America as a symbol of the best of all possibilities.

Moving abroad has taught me that the American dream is not dead, whether it means working to try to better your family, a black man becoming president thanks in part to the votes of the children of people who were slaves, or the symbol of freedom that America still represents to the rest of the world even after all these years and mistakes. People are ultimately good and want the best for themselves, their children and the human race as a whole: I firmly and wholeheartedly believe this.

That is why I feel vindicated. Because yes, we did.

1 comment:

grey_zealot said...

Congrats, man! :)

Today feels "New".