Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Have We Overcome?

This is a day I always hoped would come, but never dared believe in. The euphoria that struck around 5 pm PST, when NPR called Pennsylvania and Ohio for Obama, has begun to fade. I realized when I watched Obama's acceptance speech, and kept looking for the bulletproof glass around him, that I still can't quite accept that he's really going to lead this country.

I agreed with Michelle Obama when she said Obama's candidacy was the first time she'd really felt proud of her country. In my lifetime, I've seen Jimmy Carter fail despite the best of intentions, Ronald Reagan set the clock back to the 1960s, Bush 41 let the oil oligarchs take over our foreign policy, and Bill Clinton let his penis invalidate his entire administration. The damage caused by Bush 43 has been too great even to list. As a liberal, an immigrant, a social progressive and a fiscal conservative, I have seen my candidates try and fail to serve those who need their help the most, while the other side never even tries to conceal their corrupt agenda.

I want to believe that today is different, that in America we can finally put our twisted racial history behind us, that we can stop looking at the world and at people in black and white and start finding nuanced and effective solutions to our problems. I genuinely hope for this to happen. But I keep thinking it's impossible, that something will go wrong--Eliot Spitzer and Bill Clinton being examples of the best worst case, while JFK, RFK and MLK Jr. exemplify the worst worst case.

But then, this whole campaign has been run on the platform of refusing to let fear run our lives or our country. And so, I am happy, and look forward to a new Camelot in 76 days.

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