Finally. It's over.
I couldn't help myself- I watched endless TV coverage last night and I was almost frantic at one point:
Talking Head 1: "The map looks just like the 2004 model"
TH 2: " It's shaping up to look like 2004 again. Obama hasn't "flipped" any Red states."
TH 3: " With half of the votes in, McCain leads Obama by eight points in Virginia."
Screen: Live footage of white men in suits scrutinizing Florida ballots.
No way. This can't be happening, I thought. Not again.
It wasn't and it didn't. Even my state turned Blue once the 'urban' votes were tallied.
Nationally, it was a decisive victory for Obama. Internationally, it was a clear signal to the world that the American Dream hasn't expired quite yet, that it's a little too soon to pull the plug on Democracy.
But it would be pure folly to pin all of our hopes on one human being. That human would not have been elected if a significant number of Americans hadn't been able to set aside generations of prejudice, fear and wrongful thinking and cast their ballots for someone different.
That's huge, and that's where we need to keep working.
Both candidates, in their post-election speeches, encouraged their supporters to respect and support their opponent, but neither audience seemed to be particularily enthused about that idea. One brief TV clip showed a "White Supremist" claiming that the Obama presidency would be a boon for the White Power movement, he predicted a resurgence in the KKK and other hate groups as a reaction to the Fear of A Black President...the news, mercifully, cut him off in mid-rant.
But that hate is still there.
One fun moment came during a Chris Matthews interview with disgraced former Republican Majority Leader, Tom Delay (R-TX). Delay spouted a few minutes of 1950's-era rhetoric about how the liberals were going to ruin the country and destroy the world...a nonplussed Matthews just laughed and told Delay : " It must be wonderful to hate like you do. When you hate like that, you always know where you stand." It took Delay a few seconds to realize that it wasn't a compliment.
Hate is ugly and it's not going away but we owe it to our country to do our best to kill hatred instead of each other.
That's not asking a lot. Is it?