And I didn't have to move to do it!
It's way too late, but we had to stay up and watch Obama's acceptance speech. And then I made the mistake of getting on line and hitting sites like Google's election coverage site, and fivethirtyeight.com ... not good when I should be sleeping.
But at least I was awake when Indiana -finally- got called.
I've never lived in a blue state. Well, Indiana's had a lot of Democratic governors (and currently has a Republican... surprisingly, one I approve of, because he strikes me as a lot closer to what a Republican is supposed to be than what the party's become)... but this state has went for the GOP in presidential elections since before I was born.
But not now!
Lookie, my vote COUNTED this time.
My conservative friends (yes, I have a couple) tell me, "Yeah, let's see how happy you are about this come April 15 when your taxes go up." I find myself thinking of the scene in 1776, when John Adams and I believe Rutledge are arguing (as always), and Rutledge seems to think that Adams is pushing for independence because "your taxes are too high -- well sir, so are mine." When the point was NOT that the taxes were high, or not primarily the point; the point was that policy was being imposed from a government that seemed to be totally disconnected from those whom it governed. That the colonists felt disempowered, and disenfranchised, and insignificant, to those who were supposed to lead them.
And I think that's how many of us have felt for the past 8 years. I don't think staunch conservatives -understand- how totally disenfranchised so many of us have felt. How disempowered we've felt. How it has seemed like everyone in 'power' stood for beliefs, ideas, and paradigms that felt so totally alien to me. And how much it has felt like they absolutely did not care one iota how the 'average American' felt: they had their own agenda, and to **** with anyone else.
I keep hearing, "it's the economy, stupid." Or else I hear that it's about race. But I don't think that's been the whole story at all.
I think Barak Obama will be our next POTUS because he has the gift of empowering leadership. He has gotten a record number of people engaged in the political process this time around, because somehow he's managed to give people a vision of a nation where each person -matters-.
Yes, the economy is a large problem, but I think it's only one part of a larger problem, one that started with Vietnam and has never quite went away: a sense of disillusionment. With the government. With the 'system.' With our leadership.
Obama has reminded us that this country was not just founded on the promise of financial opportunity. It was founded on the promise of -ideaological- opportunity. Of liberty and equality.
Until now, it's been fashionable to be cynical. But I think that's been to hide the pain we've felt as a society, for being so let down, for falling so short of our ideals.
And now, suddenly, it seems that this election tells us that the idealists are still a majority in this country after all.
THAT gives me hope.