November 6, 2008

Yes We Can.

Wow. I think the election results are finally starting to really sink in for me. I cannot even begin to put into words how proud I was of my country Tuesday night when the election results came in and we elected Barack Obama as the next president of the United States of America.

I have had to deal with a lot these past few months. The majority of the people I work with are Republicans, and I have been bombarded with anti-Obama e-mails since the Democratic primaries (because apparently the black guy is a scarier prospect to put in the White House than the white woman they were all against). I have had to listen to family members spout anti-Obama rhetoric because their beloved Hillary Clinton didn't get the Democratic nomination, and their support was then turned to McCain (whose policies are vastly different than Hillary's-- I still don't understand that one). I have had to listen to conversations between people I work with who referred to Obama supporters as "morons" (while I quietly sat in the back of my office and tried to ignore them).

I've had to put up with a lot, and for me this election brought out the worst in the people around me. I learned a few things about some of my colleagues and family members that I wish I hadn't. In my experience, the McCain supporters were the loudest and most confrontational of this election, and it got to a point where I just sat back and said nothing because it just wasn't worth getting baited into an argument.

When I came into work yesterday morning, everything was deathly silent. Some of my co-workers didn't even bother coming in, and the loud-mouths who were the most vocal about this election suddenly didn't have a word to say. And I didn't say anything to them. I didn't need to because America had spoken and taken the steps to usher in a new era of change in this country. And it doesn't just feel like a victory for Democrats or for Barack Obama himself-- it feels like a victory for the world.

I couldn't help but cry tears of joy during Obama's acceptance speech Tuesday night because I was witnessing such a historical and beautiful thing. I can't imagine how much this must mean to African-Americans, but I know that for me, it gives me hope. I voted for Obama on Tuesday not because of the color of his skin, but because he was well-spoken, intelligent, his policies were more in tune with what I believed in than McCain's, and because he gave me hope. Simple as that.

Rod said to me yesterday that he was disappointed in New Zealand's current political climate because it appears that after several years, they might be going more conservative in their upcoming election. So he said he thought he might just focus on American politics for a while instead. And I remarked how insane it was that he was able to say something like that. Since I've known him, it's his country's government I've envied. But now it seems that for the first time, the tables have turned. Crazy.

I know Obama has a lot of expectations to live up to and a lot of mess to clean up. But I have hope that he will do just that. It might not be right away, but I think he'll do a good job. I hope he does. How nice will it be to have a president in the White House that is intelligent again? One that I don't feel ashamed and embarrassed of, or one where I'm not completely expecting him to fall all over his words or make a mistake whenever he gives a speech?

I'm feeling very good about the future right now. GOBAMA.

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