Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

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.

24 comments:

Kimberly said...

I loved Obama's speech, loved seeing Malia and Sasha and Michelle in that context. Am I the only pervert who is thinking there is going to be more hot and nasty sex in the White House in the next 4 years (hopefully 8) than ever before?

Ok, just one little tiny thing... I wasn't feeling Michelle's dress last night. Usually I love her clothes, but what the hell was that?

Michelle Obama rocks!

holly in tampa said...

Never before have I had tears from watching a speech. I feel so privelaged to be a part of something, and knowing and FEELING that my vote did matter. I am thrilled to know my son was born into a world where if you can dream it you can do it is no longer just a saying, but a reality.

I have never been more proud to be an American.

Preppy Pettit said...

Amen girlfriend!

Jillian said...

Awesome post Ashley - so well said. It's not just Americans who feel that way - it's all of us who don't get a vote who still have to live with the decisions of a superpower who feel elated. Like maybe we won't get shafted next time.

pogonip said...

You took the words right out of my mouth.

MzLiz said...

Amen Ashely. This is my 10th presidential election and I have never felt such joy over an outcome and such great hope for our country as I do now.

Anonymous said...

Damn it Ahsley! I thought I was done crying! I am also so proud to be an American!

Shannon said...

And it's about time. Very well said. You've done a great job of expressing your pride and support so eloquently.

Emmy said...

So beautifully said and it captures what so many of us are thinking. I find the pessimism of this country so sad.

Tara said...

Well said Ash! Totally agree and some of the things you wrote made my heart swell a bit. I, too, am so proud to be an American!



YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!

Caren said...

Beautiful post Ashley. I couldn't agree more.

I didn't like Michelle's dress either though, not flattering at all but maybe it's because she didn't get to spend $150,000 on her clothes. ;)

Kate said...

It. Was. Awesome!!!!!

Although, like you, I will also give props to McCain and a very gracious concession speech. Let's hope the words he spoke can begin to start bridging some partisan gaps. (I can dream right?)

Charity said...

The election of Barack Obama gives me hope. That a nobody raised in a non traditional family could WORK his way to the highest office in this country. That gives me hope. Hope that MY children, raised by nobodies in a non traditional working class family, can reach whatever goal they want.

Can I say that I have hope one more time? LOL

because I said so said...

perfectly said

Claire said...

Thank you for that. It feels good to have hope again.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

I too was very impressed with McCains speech...It's too bad that he didn't have that kind of integrity throughout his campaign...

Missives From Suburbia said...

Precisely. I don't know which annoys me more, the racism or the cynicism that keeps cropping up.

I, too, miss that John McCain.

Anonymous said...

I'm an 18 yr old canadian, and watching Barack Obama's speech brought tears to my eyes. I am SO elated and excited for and proud of you guys!! And for all those republicans threatening to move up here, would u mind telling them to stay put? We dont want them and besides, they wouldn't last a day here.

Fat Jeans said...

Great post! You said exactly what I've been thinking these past few days.

Migraine Mom said...

I had tears in my eyes watching them on stage and I couldn't have been prouder when my republican parents both voted for Barack Obama. My mom's words election night," I feel like I am looking at John and Jackie Kennedy all over again." I am so excited and I have Hope again!!

Becs said...

Amen, Well said! Best, Becs

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian-Irish person I just want to say that I have never been more proud of Americans as a whole in my entire life. I'm still crying. You guys have inspired hope throughout the world. Thank you for that.

Zoe,
middle of nowhere, Ireland

k said...

OMG! Were you listening in on my conversation yesterday? I said that if the concession speech McCain had been the President-hopeful McCain, he would have been making an acceptance speech.

I can't stop tearing up about it all...that people freakin' VOTED! That the $650 million raised had an average donation of $86. Awesomeness. Plus, the inspiration crossed race, gender, cultural lines. He not only inspired the masses, he inspired them to get off their asses and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS COUNTRY!!! WOOOOO!

Things are still going to be bad for awhile, but I now have HOPE that things will be better.

Awesome post. PS - hard to know what to do with myself. Usually bitter and depressed the week after the elections.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I still well up with tears when I hear his speech replayed. How amazing that the Obama's will be living in a house built by slaves. America has a long long way to go but that really puts it into perspective that we have in fact made great progress in our awesome nation!