Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I was brought to tears tonight, watching the vote tally go over the necessary 270 to send Barack Obama to the White House in January as the 44th President of the United States of America.
It's hard to explain all I felt at the moment and what I'm still feeling. Relief. Hope. Pride in my fellow Americans. I'm feeling more patriotic now than I've ever felt in my life. I'm proud of this nation.
At this moment I know - for the first time in my life - racists are a minority in this country. Finally. We have reached the tipping point. There are more of us now who judge people on things more meaningful than the color of their skin. I've been waiting for this day for a very long time. A day when we would chose a person for a job based on nothing more than their qualifications. It's big. It has so many ramifications for so many things. It's exciting. It's hopeful.
Trish had an election watch party and I'm so thankful I was able to be with her and Teresa and other supporters tonight. We were all hugging and feeling a hope we haven't felt for the last eight years.
There were many milestones along the way, but I was holding my breath at each stage, waiting for the moment when he would go over.
It felt good to celebrate with other people as the various states went to Obama.
Although most people left after he won, Trish, Teresa and I couldn't wait to hear Obama speak to the nation for the first time as President-elect.
Many of us were on our cell phones - texting and calling family and friends tonight. Andrea was holding the phone up to the TV so her sister in Virginia, who doesn't have a TV, could hear some of the proceedings. I was thinking about how technology has affected this election and even our processing of the election.
Of course, The Lope was in attendance. He agreed to a photo op with Sharon, Jocelyn and me. Those are three happy Obama supporters - four including The Lope.
The Hutchinson News was at the election party and captured a photo of me, too.
To those of you who voted for John McCain, I ask that you give us the pleasure of celebrating for awhile. And then I ask that you give Barack Obama a chance to be the president for ALL of us.
I know how those of you feel who are scared. I've been scared since Bush took office - truly frightened - of what would happen next. Although you may not think there was any reason to be frightened, I was, and still am. So, I understand that you're frightened of what the future holds. Really I do. I know nothing I can say will address that. So, I just ask you to give Obama a chance to treat us all well, to lead us into a new future where you and everyone else can flourish.
None of us ever knows all that the future holds, and I have no doubt Obama will disappoint us at some point - even those of us who have been gung-ho supporters - because politics sometimes requires more compromise than anyone finds palatable. I'm just asking you to give him a chance to be good for all of us. Just a chance.
We face a difficult road ahead. Regardless of who won tonight that would have been the same. Surely we can all agree on that and maybe we can find a way - together - for solutions. I just ask you to give him a chance. And hope that maybe you'll come to see Obama as bringing something valuable to the table for everyone, regardless of who you voted for in this election.
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