I voted for Barack Obama, and I could not be happier that he won the 08 Presidential elections. I believe, naively but sincerely, that the United States may, under his leadership, regain her promise. I am unabashedly patriotic. I believe in American exceptionalism (which, by the way, does not mean we are exceptional in the sense of being the best, but that we are unique, a nation founded on principles rather than race or ethnicity), and I hold my country to a very high moral standard.
I see in Barack Obama a mixture of FDR and JFK, and if his initials didn’t refer to body odor, I would suggest we start referring to him as BO. But what moved me the most last night as I watched the election returns was the tears that African American reporters fought so hard to hold back.
You could hear their voices crack and their throats choke up. This was more than an election, more than a refutation of Reaganomics and Bush/Chaney excess; this was even more than the election of a black Democrat. This was an affirmation of the value of a people. This was white, Latino, Native, Jewish, and other Americans saying, “yes they can” to black folk. This was a turning point for America.
A turning point, not an arrival. Racism isn’t dead because a black man got elected president. But it is dying, and we can see it dying, and that should give us hope that we can be the people Abe Lincoln called us to be.
I don’t expect Barack Obama to work miracles. I do expect that most of his promises will be modified and some even set aside. But I trust him to do what is right; that is why I voted for him, and I can’t remember the last time I voted for a candidate because I trusted him. So my hopes are modest. Here are some of them:
My hope now is that John McCain returns to the Senate and makes his real voice heard and not the voice of the extreme right wing of his party that had taken control of his mouth for the past two years.
My hope now is that Governor Palin returns to Alaska, that Todd becomes head of the Alaska Freedom Party and that whole state succeeds from the Union so she will not run in 2012.
My hope now is that Kwanza will become part of the White House December Festival of Religions Whose Members Vote In Large Enough Numbers To Impact Future Elections.
My hope now is that whoever dressed Sarah Palin join the new First Lady’s staff and improve Michelle’s wardrobe.
My hope now is that the Obama girls (not THE Obama Girl) get a rescue dog rather than a pedigree pooch, and that they become spokesgirls for animal rescue.
My hope now is that Barack and Michelle continue to email me two or three times a day as they have since I first sent them money.
My hope now is that America will become America, and Joe the Plummer will just go away.
It is a new day in America. But you have the solar system to thank for that, not Barack Obama. So let’s keep our priorities straight. Barack is just one man, and, even though he is Hawaiian, he still isn’t Don Ho.