November 4, 2008

Realize something:

No matter what you believe, no matter who you voted for, or what you think about the future of America, know this: you have witnessed history.  The election of Barack Obama is perhaps the most significant and important presidential election in American history since the very first one.  Whether or not his presidency becomes one of the most significant in American history remains to be seen, and with the expectations placed in front of him he certainly has an uphill climb, but the mere fact that he was elected provides a crucial, definable moment in United States history, a moment that decades from now, history teachers will point to and inform their students that it was on this day in this year that a dramatic shift took place in the collective American mindset.  History lives in those moments, and you just lived through one.  It was on this day that the culture began to shift.

At about this point you’re probably starting to think that I’m overreacting.  I don’t believe I am.  People who know me and have read this blog know that I frown upon the fact that my generation is devaluing our language by overusing superlatives and lacking true sincerity in the things that we say.  That is not the case for me in writing that previous paragraph.  Electing a black president, whether or not you agree with him, is something this nation needed desperately.  Now, more than ever, we can unify as a nation, should we take advantage of that opportunity, and I certainly hope we will.

Please don’t misinterpret that last sentence.  I don’t mean that we unify under the beliefs of a Democrat or a Republican, or that we become unified under any political belief at all.  In fact, I would ask that you please, please, please, look at this day, this moment, this election through eyes that are not clouded by any political belief.  We all have political tenets that we hold to, and while they are important and help us define the people we are, it is all too easy to interpret history through the tunnel vision those beliefs create for us, whether our beliefs be Democratic, Republican, or otherwise.  What I would ask is that you take a step back.  Look at what this election has done for the people of this nation, not for the Republicans or the Democrats of this nation.  Barack Obama is a politician, yes, but tonight he became a symbol, and I believe it is possible he will be remembered more for that than any decision he makes in the next four or eight years.

Now, more than ever, we are all Americans, we are not white Americans or black Americans or Hispanic Americans or any other kind of American.  We are just Americans, and though it has already become cliché to say it, any one of us can become president.  Equality has reached a new level tonight, and I sincerely hope it continues down this path.  If we are to genuinely agree that all men are truly created equal, then we should applaud the election of Barack Obama no matter what we think politically, because it takes a crucial step towards making that statement all the more true.

As for the next four years?  Well, feel free to make your own speculations about what will happen to America with Obama at the helm.  If you staunchly disagree with all the decisions you assume he will make in the next four years, well, there’s always 2012 for you.  But I believe that what happened tonight couldn’t wait another four years.  I believe it needed to happen now.

And it’s nice to get some color in there anyway, don’t you think?


1 Response to “November 4, 2008”

  1. November 4, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Absolutely wonderful post! We were glued to the TV watching Pres Obama delivering his speech in Chicago. From the beginning he had our total support. Prior to even knowing who the Democratic Nominee would be…we (Hubby and I) hoped that “then” Senator Obama would win the nomination and select Joe Biden as his VP selection. We got ridiculed over this… The area we live is EXTREME right-wing (along the Lake Michigan shoreline…in MI). However, there was a Obama field office opened in our area…and many within the state. No one expected our state to go “BLUE”…but it did!!!!

    To see it all unfold before our eyes, was surreal. There were uncontrollable tears. If you read the post I did on Oct 3, titled “An Awakening to A World of Injustice”…you’ll get a glimpse of why I feel so passionately about this. I did not think I would live to see this day realized.

    Thank you for so eloquently putting into words what so many of us are feeling. I’ll be eager to visit your site again to read what you write next.

    Kindest Regards,


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