Wednesday, November 05, 2008
...and we will
When Barack Obama first came out as a potential candidate for the presidency, I figured that between his name and his ethnicity he didn't stand a chance. I underestimated him, and more than that I underestimated the American people, something I'm somewhat ashamed of. My mom called me last night as she and my step-dad were celebrating, and she told me that Grammy and Grampa had voted for Obama and hed been very excited about doing so. My grandparents may not be hard-core republicans and they have been quite unhappy with Bush these past years, but as people I've heard make fairly racist comments from time to time (they're from a different era, after all) and who are not exactly the most, um, open-minded individuals, I think it speaks volumes that they've been won over by Obama.
Yesterday morning I was driving with D and listening to NPR broadcasting about how the polls showed Obama ahead, and how people were showing up in record numbers to vote, and I got tears in my eyes just thinking about the momentousness of it all. Thinking about Donovan, how he was born the same year that the US voted in our first African-American president. Just a year or 2 ago I didn't think this was any sort of remote possibility anytime soon. Now here we are, and my son will never know a time when the most powerful position in this country was reserved only for caucasian males. That is a HUGE shift in our history, and something I am so, so proud of.
I don't want this to sound like I support Obama just because of the color of his skin. His ethnicity and place in history because of it is only the icing on the cake. The truth is he is a man who has already inspired so many people. This election had a voter turnout higher than this country has seen in decades. He's managed to get people excited, both young and old, at a time when many see so much doom and gloom. He is inspiring people to do better for themselves, and for their country, and if that's not a mark of a good leader then I don't know what is.