I am glad we elected Barack Obama. My daughter and husband are glad too. (Keith was a nervous wreck all day yesterday! The campaign has been hard on his nerves.) My friends and co-workers are glad. I got a Happy Day e-mail from my beloved friend Rachel just now declaring her joy with this turn of events. Yay for America!
I didn't like Barack Obama at first, I thought he was too slick. I thought he was too ready with please-everybody-while-saying-very-little answers. And then the endless campaign... And Everybody else was doing the exact same thing! I rooted for Hillary in the primary, but she was really just as full of talking points and soundbites as the rest of them. I really respected Ron Paul in the debate I watched, because he didn't seem to be slinging quite as much BS as the rest of them. Not that I agreed with his POV, but I respected him for at least having one of his own.
And Poor Ralph. I really like that guy, I voted for him last time around and got quite a few choice words for it from my friends. Tried to make me feel like the reelection of George W was all my fault! One friend embarked on his own personal campaign to get me to vote for Obama, and I guess it must have worked because I didn't hesitate in the "booth" (we have electronic voting machines, so there really is no booth anymore). Nobody bothered to report on who voted for Ralph this time. Or the other 2 presidential candidates on my ballot? Who the hell are they? Why weren't they on the news? (they weren't even on the ballot in Preston County so I hear, they were on a separate sheet of possible write in candidates) It completely disgusts me that people can fulfill the requirements set forth to get on the ballot, and the media doesn't even give them a chance. More than that I like to think of myself as a fairly well informed citizen, but seeing those extra names on the list made me feel like I had failed to fulfill my civic duty to make well informed decisions.
Well, informed electorate or not, I guess people saw enough about the two major party candidates to make up their minds, whatever half truths, exaggerations, politi-speak platitudes (and possibly some actual information from the candidates platforms) that they used to make the decision. And I'm not talking about one side or the other! They're all a bunch of manipulative marketers and they're trying so hard to sell their product you don't really know what you're buying in the end. What did we just buy? Hope? I think that's what my girlfriend bought, she feels like things are going to change for the better. And so do a lot of people, I gather. Maybe that's the key, really, if people believe things are getting better, they actually will.
I like to think that now more Americans will actually start to think of America as a place where all different kinds of people can work together and prosper. We'll ensure civil rights for gay people, more women will run for public office, maybe dark skinned kids with light skinned moms (and vice versa) in the grocery store won't draw any more attention than my blond blue eyed daughter does when she's with me. Maybe folks will start thinking of the many millions of immigrants in this country as Neighbors rather than "them" and maybe people of non-christian faith will feel safer being themselves when they go out into public.
Or maybe not, cause I don't think any one man, even Barack Obama, can make that kind of stuff happen. But we can hope.