Posted by: agapeflower | November 7, 2008

Letting it all sink in.

Still can’t get over Tuesday.

The three of us sat on the futon, our eyes glued to two different TV stations and five different websites tabbed on my laptop, our hands dipped in popcorn bowls.  We applauded loudly when our state (PA) was called for Obama and shouted with glee after Ohio was called for the same.  After that, we allowed our minds to set to the question: “Will he do it?”

And, as we found out just after 11:00 p.m., he did.

We were elated for so many reasons, not the least of which was the sheer historicity of Americans electing its first African-American President.  My husband, a first-time voter, was happy because the system he had become so cynical about had not let him down.  His voice was heard; he felt as though he mattered.  I was happy because it was the final exhalation on an administration that had stifled the real America that shone through on that night: the America of hope, of dreams, of joy, of solidarity.

One of the major reasons I am so happy about the Obama victory is the astonishing sentiment that other countries might actually, even if just for a little while, like us again.  We heard, coming over the newswires, messages of support from other countries not heard since 9/11.  Whatever the past 8 years had taken from us, whatever it had taken from them, it was understood on both sides that we would no longer stand for it – that the first step had been taken, that now it was time to get to work.  And that was a feeling that caught me off guard yesterday: the feeling of urgency that resonated through me.  We had helped to open the doors; now it is our time to clean house, to right the wrongs.

Although I am a sentimentalist, I am not naive enough to suggest that Obama will completely heal all of the rifts that we’ve made; that he will climb atop a brilliant steed and save the day.  To think so wholeheartedly not only sets us up for a major disappointment, it is, frankly, dangerous.  But what I believe he will do is what he said he would: bring change to an America that cries out for it louder and louder as the days pass by.  He certainly spoke plainly enough in his election-night speech that it might not take 4 years to do so.  There are some heavy rocks to move and monumental pillars to upright.  But, if the millions of people who supported him (myself included) are to be believed, then the cry of “Yes We Can!” should not only be limited to the election process and dropped now that we got this far.  It should also be the cry for the next 4 years (at the very, very least).


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