I still find it hard to believe Obama won. I watched the polls daily and saw Obama leading day after day, poll after poll. I believe polling is fairly accurate and, rationally, I found it hard to believe that every poll was wrong. Two things kept nagging at me:
The 2004 re-election of Bush shocked me. I was sure that Americans could see how incompetent Bush was and they’d never let him continue to drive the country into the ground. But they didn’t and he did.
I grew up in Virginia and racism was alive and well by the time I escaped in 1997. I lived in Northern Virginia, the more affluent and liberal part of the state. But even there, racism was only discouraged under the guise of political correctness – people really didn’t behave as if racism was wrong, it was simply not something you talked about. I figured a similar situation exists in other states.
But America proved me wrong yesterday and I couldn’t be more happy to be wrong. Even Virginia voted for Obama. And more importantly, Obama appears to have been elected not because of his race but because of his character. Martin Luther King’s dream may finally be realized. I might even say that the eight years of George W. Bush had a positive outcome. :)
We kept Havana up late so we could get a photograph of her and Hudson in front of the TV for this historical moment:
After a dismal eight years, mostly before they were born, I hope they grow up in a country that is again making progress to the ideal that America was founded upon. If not, I can show them this photo to remind them that as bad as things may seem, positive change can happen.
To my surprise, McCain made a great concession speech. I was sure he’d give a lame speech patting himself on the back for running a great campaign, thanking his supporters and never giving Obama credit. Instead, he correctly accepted personal blame for his defeat (but alas, not their disgraceful lies, smears and for attempting to divide the country and start another culture war) and noted the historical significance of Obama’s victory. His supporters, on the other hand, showed the country one more time how class-less they are by booing both Obama’s and Biden’s names. In contrast, McCain’s name generated cheers when Obama mentioned him in his speech. That’s more proof that America made the correct decision.
My favorite parts from “Obama’s speech”:http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/stateupdates/gGx3Kc:
bq. If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
bq. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.
bq. And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
bq. For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.