Today is a New Day

I woke up this morning a little happier, with an extra spring in my step, and the feeling of hope in my heart. Yesterday, we elected Barack Obama as the next President of the United States of America.

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As the votes started getting tallied and states were project as won, one by one (who can really project a state with 1% of the votes in, huh CNN?) I sat in front of the TV, waiting. I honestly didn’t think that the race would be as easy as people predicted it would be. But at around 10pm yesterday night, the world exploded and the nation realized that the American Dream could really become a reality. Our nation elected an African American man as the president.

Now, I know it’s not about race, that people shouldn’t have voted for (or against) Barack because of his race, and that’s true. But you have to admit that his victory is something historical. If any of you had ever heard me speak when I was in college, you know that something I feel important for our youth is having role models, especially role models that look like them. Now I’m not black, but seeing a minority as president makes me proud, and is something that I am happy has happened in Ben’s lifetime. It’s easy to tell a kid, “You can be president someday” even though in the history books he’d only see white men. But to see a person of color, something different, something more relatable, that’s what really makes them believe that they CAN achieve that.

I’m not going to be naive and say that Obama is going to fix everything, that he’s going to heal the wounds that our country has suffered in the last 8 years. He has a hard job before him. There will be campaign promises he won’t keep, things he’s said that won’t be able to do, the economy won’t fix itself in a day. But having him as president gives me a glimmer of hope that things might get better.

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Seeing all those faces on TV, in my hometown, hundreds of thousands of people overjoyed with the dawn of a new era. “They’re all so happy!” Ben cried as he saw people on the TV. I teared up as I saw the raw emotion on Jesse Jackson’s eyes. I welled up with emotion as I listened to older black women and men talk about how they never would have thought they would have lived to see this day. The city of Chicago was a perfect backdrop for his rally - my hometown had never looked more beautiful than it did yesterday with people from all walks of life flocking to Grant Park to celebrate. I should have gone, but traffic would have been insane from where we live. I was happy enough looking at my city on TV.

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John McCain, as I knew he would be, was gracious in defeat, and his speech was perfect. I only wish there weren’t the boos in the audience to spoil his moment. He ran a good race, and he still is, in the end, a good man who loves his country.

I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. I have a feeling of hope and excitement about my country that I haven’t had for a long time. It’s not going to be easy, and Obama isn’t going to fix everything. I’m not expecting the world to become perfect, but I do feel it will be better. As a nation we are energized, we are hopeful, we are ready.

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time — to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

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7 Comments

2008-11-05 19:07:46

Trisha says

Right or wrong, the whole world will scrutinize everything he does to the nth degree. His every action will be watched much more closely than it would if he were a white middle income man. I don’t agree with that, but it’s what people will do because he’s the first and firsts rarely can do what they do without scrutiny.

thus, I hope he can keep a lot of the promises he made & fix a lot of the problems he wants to fix. If he doesn’t, it will be much harder for the next nonWASP who aspires to do what he did. I’d hate to see the progress that has been made in this country reversed. Ideally, it shouldn’t be that way - he should be judged just like a WASP in that position would be, but this is new so he likely won’t be. Thus, I’m hoping he’ll do okay so the door for others stays open.

 
2008-11-05 19:18:32

Anonymous says

i met president obama 5 years ago at a chicago rally
and at my place of work. he is truly a breath of fresh
air and a pioneer for our times.

 
2008-11-05 19:18:33

Trisha says

***JFK was a nonWASP as well, but he didn’t live long enough to leave the legacy that Obama has the opportunity to leave, and Kennedy was white which may have given him a bit more advantage than Obama. We’ll see.

 
2008-11-06 13:15:32

Sue says

I enjoyed watching the events of Tues. night so much. I was watching MSNBC and at a minute after 10 pm they showed the western seaboard of the map light up blue. I will never forget the emotions that came over me at that moment.

I’m excited that a family with small children will be living in the White House and I hope that Barack has a very successful term.

 
2008-11-07 03:43:48

Steph says

Yano, you took the words “write” out of my fingertips. I can’t even begin to explain the peace that has come over me since he has been elected. Just waking up Wednesday morning was like waking up with a new purpose in life. It almost feels like it did after 9-11, without the tragedy… like our country has the ability to be united…On nation, under God.

And his speech… I was in tears, and just when I thought I was done crying, they would show someone else on TV, and I would start again. By no means is Barack Obama perfect, but he is definitely to be admired. I also think he’s going to pleasantly surprise those who are already criticizing him for they “think” he’s going to do. Personally, I can’t wait for that day, so we can all see their jaws hit the floor. hahaha To me, that’s the best kind of revenge. Just prove to them they don’t know what they’re talking about, and I think that is EXACTLY what he’s done.

On a side note, I even got an email from my mother in law in Israel saying, “Mazel tov for having Barack Obama as your new President.” Even they wanted him… I guess. ;)

 
2008-11-07 09:29:24

Nino says

I didn’t have the words to describe Tuesday night… You’ve summed up my feelings exactly with this post.

 
2008-11-08 08:54:13

Marie says

I’m black and I was so happy to see this. I didn’t vote for Obama for that reason, but just to think that a black person CAN be elected president now, still blows me away.

The point of MLK’s fight for equality was not that a black person could accomplish anything they want, it was that a person could accomplish anything they want that just happens to be black.

 

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