Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Free @ Last



This is the picture that got to me. To see the Reverend Jesse Jackson crying as Barack Obama became our President was to know--instantly, wordlessly--how much this election means to people, and how different it is from the selections which preceded it.

People often use giant metaphors when they talk about the US, but usually language like this reminds me of a terrible old fifties sci-fi movie. I see the US as a lumbering, 80-foot cyclops in a diaper.

But not today. I am proud of us today. And I feel like something almost forgotten, some fine ideal, has come striding forward through the murk and disillusion of my brain, just like Obama striding across that stage in Chicago last night.

To see Jesse Jackson (and Oprah) crying in that crowd, and to hear Barack Obama speak so powerfully of the giant ideals that people should think of when they think of America, and to just sit back and think of what we did yesterday and how far we've come lately, is to be reminded that there is something fine in us. And there's something truly grand about that place, over there, that I still call 'home.'

5 comments:

Flashtrigger said...

I agree. I watched in awe as McCain conceeded, and my respect for him grew as he hushed his booing crowd and remained both humble and gracious. I was nearly moved to tears as Obama walked on stage with his wife, our new First Lady, and his two little girls, and moving me to tears is pretty damn difficult. I felt and still feel absolutely drenched in the surreality of it all. It was so historic and beautiful and necessary for the nation in a myriad of ways. I'm excited and jubilant, it's amazing. :)

cliff1976 said...

I am proud of us today.

I am proud of us today too, but I would be even prouder if Prop 8 in California had been defeated.

I know we've made progress as a nation — electing a non-white-guy shows it. I hope we don't forget to progress in other areas, too.

pat said...

No doubt. I would be prouder if my home state of Texas had cast more votes for the right guy, but...oh well.

Tina said...

I watched it all on TV and the moments of Jesse Jackson weeping were moving...Pat, you're our American ambassador abroad now, and you can give us a running commentary of the Euro-take on Obama presidency as it unfolds.

I'm listening to a c-span news conference of the European commissioners who monitored the US elections. They commended us for restoring the democratic voting system that they were concerned about in the last two elections they monitored. Now they say they feel Europeans and others can really can learn from this election - especially the commissioner who looks at elections East of Vienna.

They only felt we needed more voting machines because the lines were so long, but they said no one was complaining- they were amazed.

That's what Obama means by 'change' - small changes with large effects.

Tina

more cowbell said...

yes, yes, yes. Watching Rev. Jackson's face -- I completely lost it at that point.