Ms. Super Excitement that I am went to bed around 2100. My anxiety level was too high to keep watching. I hate exit polls. I hate the five jillion little "drawers" that the pundits have stuffed us into. I hate the constant speculation.
Just give the results as they come in.
I missed Tim Russert's smiling face.
So I went to bed with the hope that the world would still be here when I awoke.
I had hope for Linda Ketner and Barack Obama.
I was insulted by Linsday Graham. Yes. I felt he was waving a big, fat, insolent middle finger at his loyal constituents the entire election. Why he wasn't even in his own state! He was with his man-crush McCain in Arizona. Voted absentee ballot and off to Arizona to be with McCain instead of his supporters and the people he serves.
I mean, we all knew he was going to win because SC consistently votes red, but he didn't even feel like he had to thank his supporters in the state?
Whatever. I need to write him. I have a question. He promised in an interview that if Obama won, he would go to Washington and fight Obama "tooth and nail" on every issue that came his way. Even if it's something good for the country? And on his campaign ads, Graham bragged that he could "reach across the aisles to work together."
Which is it I would like to know?
When I woke up this morning, Jason was already awake and I asked him, "How is the world today?"
And the world was good. I was happy that my candidate, Barack Obama, has won. I was even more happy that he won by a good margin both in electoral votes and popular votes.
Our great nation does not need to continue to tear ourselves apart any more. I really hope we don't.
Here are some of the reasons I supported Obama:
I find him to be an intelligent, thoughtful, intuitive person, qualities I believe will serve us well in this complex world.
He is a self made man. America loves to tell people to pull themselves up from their bootstraps. Well, Obama did that. Perhaps it is because we are close in age, but I remember those times in the late 70's, early 80's when as teens, we just drifted along in the post-Vietnam, pre-Reagan era. Yes, he messed up as a teen. So did I. I smoked my share of pot under the senior oak tree at Middleton High School. And we both decided that doing that was stupid and not the path to a better life, so we stopped and began applying ourselves to building a positive, meaningful life.
I believe in social welfare. Sorry. I do. I do not believe in corporate welfare in the form of tax exemptions and subsidies. I just think we are doing social welfare very wrong in this nation and we make it easy to get on welfare, but very hard to get off. I like Obama's ideas on giving a helping hand to young mothers (and fathers) in a way that leads them into a better life, a way that doesn't just give them money and expect them to suddenly learn all the skills they need without guidance. People have heard me say this before about welfare in this country: we have wasted our ounce of prevention and the only thing left is the pound of cure. Yes, if we want to stop supporting all those poor people out there, we actually have to do something that costs some money.
And on a more ephemeral level. I think there is going to be a huge boost to youth in this nation. Young people who have been "told" all their lives that they can achieve, but grow up "seeing" that story very rarely happens in their experience. Now, they see. Mixed race kid whose dad put on his boogie shoes, raised mostly by grandparents, had pay for his own college, but worked hard, used his head, made a conscious decision that he would not give up.
I also think that Obama will help us with creating a more secure world simply because the leaders of other countries see him as someone who they can work with. We will not defeat terrorist with the cowboy-shoot-em-up attitude we have had. I know people who say they don't care what the rest of the world thinks of us. But it is important. More important now that ever before. We must work with the world to end terrorism. We must try to work against poverty and genocide and war. We can't do it alone. And I think Barack Obama is the man who can begin to rebuild the bridges we have burned these past eight years.
Do I think he can do everything he said during his campaign in the first year of his presidency? No. No president, Republican or Democrat has been able to do that. But his election changes the tone of government.
To me, the voice of the people has spoken clearly. Enough negativity. Enough hateful rhetoric, enough dividing us into bits and pieces of our lives. Work together.
We are America. The best damn country on the planet. We are generous, we are hard working, we are industrious and smart, we want better for all our children, we are faithful, we are kind.
We are not mean, angry, liars, ripping and snarling at each other.
We are not afraid.
And we will not allow others to make us afraid anymore.