Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the politics of hope

I got an email earlier from President-elect Barack Obama. He thanked me for my support and has promised to keep in touch about what's coming next. Of course, 5M other people probably got the same message but I never got an email from a President before. It feels like I'll still get to be part of something and ridiculous or not, it matters. It matters because it defines everything we've worked for in the past year and more. WE were a part of something happening here.

I can't stop crying today, seeing the clips from around the world, hearing others talk about what this means to them, seeing it in writing for the first time "President-Elect Obama". This election process, an event that came after 8 long years of deceit and war, of crumbling economics and ridiculous behavior that has left our country broken did not come without a price. The divisiveness of the politics, the ever-widening divide, the fear and hatred and everything else left many of us weary and fearful. We Americans are tired. We are tired and we are skeptical and we are most of all hungry. We don't want to live like this and we don't want our leaders making these mistakes anymore.

So in the wake of the most momentous and important occasion in my life I am humbled. Humbled that we made it, grateful that we did the right thing. I know President-Elect Obama is not our savior, that he cannot be expected to fix all our problems but I do believe he is the best chance we've got. As I sat in a room crowded with friends last night, friends from all over the map in terms of ethnicity and religious beliefs and yes, even a republican or two in the group a party that had been loud and irreverant for hours became quiet as church when he walked onto that stage. We sat huddled together, old and young, kids and dogs and everything in between and with tears rolling down our collective faces we saw history and as I looked around the room I reflected on the importance of this for each of these wonderful and earnest people in the room. At one point the tiniest child started talking loudly and her parents moved quickly to silence her and a voice from the back of the room said it's alright man, we did this for her after all.

We did this for all of us. And that is what will transcend the bitterness and the divide. And I trust that after time goes on that those of us who are wounded will slowly come to see it too and when they do we'll be right there waiting for them. Because the time has come and because there is nothing left to do. Because we can.


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25 comments:

mitzh said...

I am so happy for America, I am so happy and proud for you all. I am thankful that President-Elect Obama made it.

Congratulations from Japan and wishing all the best to come.

Omaha Mama said...

It is so wonderful. Tears abound.

Karen said...

I feel the same way. Like you said, he is not a saviour, but he is a good man who can lead our nation in the right direction. And I hope my own family members can get over their predjudices to embrace him soon.

Anjali said...

I've been teary all day, too.

Ally said...

And now I'm teary again, reading this post.

painted maypole said...

i got that e-mail, too, and even though i knew the absolute futility of it, I responded to it, and thanked HIM. Because... DUDE. This rocks.

hele said...

We also feel so much joy and hope.

Little Monkies said...

I treated myself to a yummy breakfast yesterday morning in celebration. People everywhere were sitting outside drinking coffee and laughing. It was magical. I got in my car and heard the bell tower playing "We Shall Overcome". I sat and cried. It was really beautiful, overwhelming and relieving at the same time.

Thanks for all of your work and cheers to the work of millions of others. I got that email too, shivers.

Mad said...

I keep wanting to write about election night but I haven't found the time. Needless to say I was and am moved.

mamatulip said...

Great post, Jen.

Kyla said...

It was an amazing night, standing in this hospital room, watching history unfold. Wow.

Amy Y said...

Thank you for this. I can't explain why, here, but I needed this today.

ewe are here said...

I've been tearing up quite a bit the past couple of days, too. I can't remember the last time I felt so proud of my country.

And I love that I'm not the only one:
"At one point the tiniest child started talking loudly and her parents moved quickly to silence her and a voice from the back of the room said it's alright man, we did this for her after all."

Expatriate Chef said...

I got the message too. I wondered if he would continue to leverage social networks and online to communicate with the public. I saw it as a path for the fourth branch of our government to participate. That branch being WE THE PEOPLE.

I hope that's the plan. He said he was listening. One amazing speech that was. Truly.

Mimi said...

Yeah, I've been crying too, and I'm Canadian. It feels like a series of moments that I'm going to want to remember. Engraved on my memory as the beginning ... of something better.

luckyzmom said...

Yes we can!

wheelsonthebus said...

we are fortunate that he is willing to serve this country in our time of need.

motherbumper said...

So true, because you did it for everyone - EVERYONE.

Jocelyn said...

Completely randomly, I caught the first ten minutes of The View on ABC yesterday morning. Whoopie Goldberg was amazing and articulate and distilled much of the impact of this election. I don't know if it's on YouTube, but it's worth watching.

carrie said...

I really do believe he is the best chance we've got, and I could not be more proud of our country and what it did.

cce said...

Me too. Here, Here. I needed something to snap me out of a socked in depression and for a moment I feel better and that's all I can ask for right now!

NotSoSage said...

I'm not really reading these days, but I found that I needed to hear what you had to say about this...

I cried and am still crying, all these days later, knowing what a significant moment this is. I do not envy him the high expectations that people have for him, but I think that if anyone can even come close to living up to them, he can. With your help.

Z said...

Congratulations. The prestige of the United States has risen all over the world and there's hope at last.

Missives From Suburbia said...

He won't fix all of our problems, but he can put us on a path to fix them ourselves. That has been my favorite part of his message since the very beginning. He makes me want to be a better person, citizen, and parent. That alone was worth my vote. Yet, he brings us so much more.

What a beautiful post. Thank you.

patches said...

I've paid more attention to this presidential election than any other, and for the first time, an elected official might renew my faith in humanity.

I'm actually excited.