Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So THAT'S where I felt that before!

I just read "Taking Our Country Back," an essay at worth reading in its own right; it sums up rather well what the election of Barack Obama means to me. But its opening sentences evoked the sense of deja vu that I'd had last night as I watched Obama's acceptance speech. At the time, I couldn't put my finger on it. These words crystallized it in my mind:
Only rarely does one know that one is experiencing history while it happens. Barack Obama's victory is one of those occasions.

There have been two or three other occasions when I have had that feeling. A couple of them were tragic, and their dates are forever seared into my memory: November 22, 1963, and September 11, 2001. But the third - one whose exact date I can't even name - is the one those words recalled, and which in retrospect is the one that most closely resembled last night. It was the night Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon.

Then, as now, I was aware that I was witnessing the unfolding of events that changed the world. Then, as now, the realm of the possible was profoundly and forever expanded by the completion of a difficult journey undertaken amid doubt that it could be completed. Then, a man had called on a nation to undertake such a journey; now, it seems, a nation has called forth a man.

I originally supported Barack Obama because of what he was not. He was not a neocon, he was not a religious fundamentalist, he was not a fearmonger. But over the course of a summer and an early autumn, I came to see in him the promise of a true statesman, a leader who has the potential to unite us again as Americans, to unite us again with our allies around the world, to awaken us again to what is possible, and hopefully, to inspire us again to rise to the challenges of our time and accomplish greater things that we have dared to aspire to. And last night, as on that night in 1969, I had the same thought: if we can do this, we can do whatever we need to do.

Yes, we can.

What Palin hath wrought

Newsweek reports:
The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. "Why would they try to make people hate us?" Michelle asked a top campaign aide.

Because, Michelle, they're scum.

Yes We Did


Today the politics of divisiveness and fear has been repudiated, and we have in some small part fulfilled the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr., as this one man has been judged not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.

Last night in his acceptance speech, President-elect Obama thanked "the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics" - and I was proud to know I was part of that team.

Tomorrow I will be just as proud to poke and prod and try to pressure the president-to-be into doing the right things for the American people, the people of the world, and the very future of life on earth. The hard work is just beginning. For today, I'm just going to enjoy what we have accomplished.