Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Sort Of Beginning

Audio: Natalie Merchant, "Space Oddity (Live 1999)"

It is a new morning in America.

At 11:00 p.m. yesterday, the face of our country changed forever. After nearly two years of fierce fighting, a new President was elected, and that decision has altered our world. Barack Obama, a biracial man, a black man raised by a single white mother, a community organizer from the heartland of our nation, was chosen to lead us into a new century. I will never forget those final moments before the decision was handed down--me and my wife, sitting on the couch, holding hands, waiting for the polls to close on the West Coast. Then the silence, and Wolf Blitzer declaring "It is official." The headline at the bottom of the screen "BARACK OBAMA ELECTED PRESIDENT," and then a choking laugh, as my wife began to sob. The faces of thousands all across America, cheering, their throats opened in a shout of joy for all the world to hear.

And hear they did. With Obama's election, our world, our nation is given a second chance. Even his opponent, Sen. John McCain, was quick to offer his congratulations last night, giving a speech that showed more grace and class that I could have imagined possible. Even on FOX News, the sight of Juan Williams tearing up showed us all that, no matter where we stand, there can be no denying what this means for our country, our history, and our future. Years from now, we will all remember where we were at that exact moment. And in those years to come, those of us who supported Barack Obama will be able to hold our heads high and say:

"I helped to make it happen."

So what comes next? Well, that remains to be seen. The next President has a difficult journey ahead. Our economy is in ruins; our military is stretched thin; our image across the world badly tarnished. Even here at home, the victory of Barack Obama cannot gloss over the victories for ignorance, for fear, for hatred that took place last night. Sen. Ted Stevens, a convicted felon, still won the vote of his constituents in Alaska. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, defamer of war-heroes, remains in power in Georgia, amid accusations of his state not counting early votes. In California, the infamous Proposition 8 achieved a narrow victory, and has thus denied millions of GLBT citizens their rights. Even now, amidst all of this, conservative posters such as John Derbyshire rant about what a sad day this is, how this is only a victory for the "ruthless opportunism" of Barack Obama, and for "the unprincipled thuggishness of his supporters."

Make no mistake, America: this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But to paraphrase Winston Churchill, it IS a new sort of beginning.

In spite of all the ways in which we failed ourselves last night, let us not forget: A black man, the son of a foreigner, with an ethnic name and no familial legacy in this country, has proved his worth to lead us into the future. With his election, the people of our nation have said "NO" to endless war, to policies that favor the privileged. They have said "NO" to division and hate, and "YES" to the promise of what we ALL can achieve.

Truly, this is not just a victory for Americans, but one for all the world. In Kenya, a national holiday has been declared for Obama; in Sydney, Australia, thousands stood and cheered riotously at the news. And from France, an image comes to us of a celebration in Paris. The image is simple, stark, powerful: a young woman, her delicate features stretched in a grin, staring wide-eyed at a screen announcing the news. Her face is alight with a mixture of emotions--relief, hope, joy--and her alabaster cheeks are streaked with tears. It is this image, truly, which first set in the reality for me--that reduced me, too, to open weeping. Barack Obama is to be our President, and our country can at last begin anew. It is the end of an age of fear, of nationalism, and it is a new beginning for all of us; no matter our nationality, no matter what our political stripe.

America, you and I have had a difficult, fractious relationship. Our marriage has not always been of my choice, and frankly your abuses of my love have sometimes left me embarrassed, humiliated in the public sphere. But with this one simple gesture, you have given me hope that we can build anew. You have reminded me of what it is that makes us great. It falls to us now to find a way through the crises that face us, but I am confident that, together, we can work to create a better future--for ourselves, for our children, and for a world who needs us, now more than ever.

(Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post)

Go on, America. It's finally okay to Hope.


iamcoyote said...

Damn you, Milo, I wasn't going to cry any more, but ya went ahead and made me. Great picture, too. The sun came out this morning, too, after a long week of rain. I think I'm actively hoping right now. For what? you may ask. Everything.

Or I could just be hungover. Ya never know!

Anjha said...

Milo - holy fuck. This was the song that I was asking about over at TLC the other day. Remember when I asked, because it came on a commercial and I said "who does this remake?!" And now, here it is and it is Natalie Merchant and I believe that I have this CD. Wow. Did you see me post that?

Welcome back Milo. We have missed you!!!

Hey, nerds, I need some help. Kiddo's bday is coming up - way too soon - and I am trying to find a good price on an xbox 360. I need it quickly and we have very little funds.

I am wondering if we can upgrade the regular console later. We would like to purchase the Elite 120 GB one, but it is pricey. I have searched Amazon and NewEgg and I have checked Craig's list, but even the used ones people do not want to seem to give on the price. Plus, husband likes to purchase electronics new, rather than used, so that we get the warranty, blah, blah, blah.

So, does anyone know if you can uprade the GB later if we went for the cheaper version? Does anyone know of any good websites that sell this stuff for a good price?

Anjha said...

nope. my cd is "Tigerlily" - 1995.

Still, that is really bizarre you posted that Milo.

Hey, Coyote has my email addy if anyone has info on the xbox thing. My migraine is back.

I wish that I could give him everything that he wants.

Seven of Six said...

Anything is possible...

At the VA Hospital in Phoenix the channel was changed from FAUX News to CNN for the first time since I have been going to it.

Seven of Six said...

That young woman looks like she smoked a good bowl of hash!

Of course, if I had any, I would have smoked it also last night!!

idiosynchronic said...

As far as it goes on an Xbox 360, anjha, I think you're not going to find a deal unless you look in someone's van late at night in a dark alleyway. The price on it and the PS3 have been MSRP and demand keeps it from creeping too much downward, much like it does with Apple MacBooks. Is there a particular game that's 360 only that the half-clone wants?

Greetings gang - I've been watching and hanging out, but haven't had much to say. My wife and daughter have been sick with an intestinal thing, so I get moments to read and watch TV, but not much to write.

The one great disadvantage to this is that its ideal to lurk the scummy side of the nets -- read five minutes, puke or hold my wife's hair while she does, return, repeat. They Are Not Happy over there.

snark said...

They Are Not Happy over there.

Sorta puts the lie to Country First, dunit?

idiosynchronic said...

Right. I always thought that they kept leaving the "My" off that slogan.

It's been an interesting day here in Republican Small-Town land. All the GOP lawn signs have disappeared over night. I mean every single one. Obama won the county handedly, but the town went 1123-952, or 54% for McCain. Most of town is unabashedly depressed, and then there's these random pockets of happy people. The gun store and Christian bookstore next door have put up signs of defiance.

iamcoyote said...

I'm so glad I live in Dirty Fookin' Hippie land, idio. Everyone's smiling around here, and you don't have to fake it. Sorry the family's sick, it's that time, isn't it? Let's hope this year's flu shots get the right bug.

snark said...

It's certainly happy in NYC. Oh, the suits on the train platform were grumbling this morning. Sad sacks that they are. It was a clean sweep on my ballot. Dems won local trustees (3), town justice (dumping a 20 year Rep. incumbent, County Clerk, State Senate, and US Representative. Every Democrat on my ballot won. Several local businesses had signs in their windows. One said, "It's a new day!"

Anjha said...

One said, "It's a new day!"

Huh. I got the same email from a friend. That was all it subject line and body.

It's A New Day!

Sorry about your family being sick Idio. Nasty stuff.

Kiddo wants the 360 because every single new game is for the 360.

I did massive amounts of research yesterday, even calling the Geek Squad, so I feel fairly well versed in this crap.

I am settled with Amazon. They are the cheapest and the best guarantee to get it here next day.

He wants Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed.

My kid is no longer a kid. He is now a little man. All of the movies that he picked for he and his buddies to go to for his party are all rated R. So I had to spend a good hour watching trailers and arguing about why the movies were "not appropriate." And also arguing about the difference between not offending the other parents with sex and drugs and rock n roll vs. he not wanting to offend them by seeing "W" or "Religilous" due to their political statements. His sensibilities and sensitivities are great. I had to explain to him that someone being offended due to their "beliefs being challanged" is different than being offended because we allow our [almost] 13 year old to watch movies with "sexual content" or "sexual innuendo."

I took kiddo to my LD Democratic meeting/celebration last night and he was very impressive. All of the people were asking questions to our local "know it all blogger, web creator guy" about the state of local races, etc and kiddo raised his hand and asked "what are the sources of your information?"


It was great. He said later that he wanted to know where the guy got his data because "he looked like a 21 year old kid..."


Anjha said...

PS. Also, when we said the Pledge of Alliegance, kiddo refused to say the "under God" part because he said "it was not part of the original and it is discriminatory."

Man I love my kid.