Today I am proud to be an American.
Am I disgusted with the blatant homophobia and racism that some think they have carte blanche to spout today?
Yep, for sure.
Aren't I always proud to be an American?
Yep, for sure, but today I was glowing with that pride.
I keep hearing the naysayers say, "Nothing is changing. I can't wait until you all realize that nothing will ever change" and that's annoying because first and foremost, since when is it such a crime to have some hope? Lord knows these people don't have a crystal ball or we wouldn't be where we are now, so since it's inevitable, how about we just give it a chance and try to hope some things will improve?
Secondly, Things Have Changed. So much has changed. The majority of Americans actually felt inspired and have hope. In a country globally renown for their complacency, close mindedness and selfishness, people stood in line and voted for what they believe in.
Young black men interviewed at one polling station wore suits and ties to mark the occasion with the respect they felt it deserved. Young people turned out in droves not only to vote, but to campaign and get involved. People requested absentee ballots which they filled out on their death beds; one woman even rode in an ambulance and had to vote from a gurney--but she was not missing out on her chance to be heard as an American.
A young, inspiring minority ran a positive, savvy campaign--and won. Regardless of the issues, from a marketing standpoint it was all sheer genius. It was a grass roots campaign that raised an extraordinary amount of money, much of it from people struggling themselves. It also raised hope and awareness about the power of politics.
Seeing President Elect Obama stride onto stage with his two darling girls and his beautiful wife, cool and calm, looking out at a SEA of people--old white people, young black people, Jesse Jackson and Oprah pressed against college students and "average" Americans, all with tears in their eyes and hope in their hearts, was a feeling I am unable to describe.
Our votes and feelings counted and we got to see that democracy does work. The White House is no longer reserved for the "Good Old Boys"--it's reserved for whoever runs the best race, whether they be black or white or woman or man.
McCain's concession speech reminded me of why I liked him in 2000--where was goofy, grandpa-like McCain in this campaign? The venom was unnecessary, it didn't work and did nothing but stir up hate and fear. I was proud to be supporting a candidate that spent more time talking about his ideas instead of spending that time insulting his opponent's.
We're going to have a black family, two little girls, and a puppy in the White House.
Things have changed.