• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

05 November 2008

i got sunshine in a bag

I generally don't get very political, but I can't help it today. I want to dance and sing and shout from the rooftops. I woke up refreshed and proud of the USA this morning. Perhaps someday soon, Americans will once again be able to travel safely and confidently throughout the rest of the world without having to apologize for allowing our fellow citizens to elect such a blundering fool. Perhaps "It's not my fault, I didn't vote for him" will no longer need to hold a place in our list of standard responses. Perhaps consenting adults who love each other will be able to get married, period. Perhaps women and their families will continue to be able to make their own choices about their health based on their personal circumstances. Perhaps our troops will be supported, cared for, and reunited with their families; perhaps they'll be able to do their jobs honorably and confidently without being treated as disposable commodities. They've spent enough time in harm's way under the false pretenses of a spoiled bully; over four thousand husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends have died in these past five years. Perhaps we will see the reform (or at the very least, improvement) of health care, of education, of welfare, of cultural tolerance, of energy and oil and environmental policy. For the first time in this decade, I have hope.

A friend of mine wrote in her blog:
"This entire year, I didn't allow myself any hope. I didn't believe that change was possible. I fully expected that republicans would stay in power - legitimately or illegitimately. Neither would surprise me.
So you might imagine my surprise when polls started showing Obama up. When people, lots of people, started talking about how bad the last eight years were. When people started thinking that maybe, perhaps, Obama might be elected. When being a liberal stopped being some character flaw I shared with everyone else I knew.
And I've begun to hope, just a little bit. I've given in to the urge to read the newspaper, the polls, the tracking websites. I've given in to the desire for hope. I still worry desperately that it may be stolen, or ruined, or upset, somehow.

This pretty much sums up my feelings too; I hope she doesn't mind my paraphrasing her words. I feel she said it perfectly.

And another friend wrote:
"Never in my life have I felt so strongly, so passionately about a candidate. Never have I admired or liked a politician so much in all my life."

And I agree. I was too young to vote in 2000, though I would have voted for Gore. I liked him OK, mostly because of his concern for the environment, but I wasn't thrilled with him aside from the "He's not a rich underachieving failed Texan oil tycoon" factor. In 2004, I voted for Kerry. Honestly there was nothing in particular I really loved about Kerry; in fact I was mad at him for not being more dynamic, charismatic, likable, and passionate. He was just another 'old white guy' and his changing issue stances weren't anything to brag about either. Like many, I worried he wasn't good enough to turn the heads of undecided voters, and I was right. I voted for him though, for the same reason millions of other Americans did: he wasn't George W. Bush.

This year was different. Obama was good. Really good. Bf and I had the amazing opportunity to see Senators Obama and Clinton speak back to back one evening back in April (in fact, we have over 1000 photos of this event that we've yet to edit. Perhaps the time's come!). While I have to admit that Ms. Clinton put me off a little by being a good hour late for her speech, she was still good - just not as good as Mr. Obama. I would have voted for her just because she wasn't McCain. Obama, however, I voted for because he was Obama. As with any president, I'm sure that all of his grand plans for our country won't pan out in exactly the way he'd like, but at least he HAS good plans. And he's likable, and charismatic. And SMART. (Imagine that, a president in the White House who is smarter than the average American! Some people say this is elitist - they want someone who's like them. I want to smack these people; wouldn't you want the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world to be smarter than you or your neighbor!?)

Last night when the news was officially announced, a lot of the press focused on the color of his skin: "The US's first black president!" I think this is awesome and long overdue, but to be honest, it did not occur to me* in the voting process. Of course I noticed what the man looks like, and I've read about his childhood, his parents, and his upbringing. But it just wasn't a factor in determining his qualifications to be president. So when NBC anchors were touting "history in the making," my reaction was "Huh? Ooooh yeah, he's BLACK!" (My initial interpretation of "history in the making" was "Yes! We're finally going to do something about the horrors this country and the world have had to endure under a Bush presidency!")

Anyway, to sum what was supposed to be a short "Woohoo, Yes We Did!" post...

Woohoo! Yes we did!

*I want to note that though I am a woman, I'd have felt the same about a qualified female candidate- of course I'd notice that she's a woman, but it wouldn't have been a factor in my decision to vote for her.