Tuesday was an amazing day in history. We all know it. Here are a few highlights of the day:
BFF Votes For the First Time! It was great to know someone who had never voted before in a national election, who now felt motivated to vote for someone for the first time. Barack was the change she believed in. She was a little nervous and i think might have felt a little insecure about being an adult that wasn't already familiar with the ballot-casting process. But she did not let insecurity stop her! She voted and realized how painless the process could be. Brava, BFF. You fulfilled your civic duty!
I voted for Obama. I was so excited to vote for him. I was humming the "I've got a crush on Obama" Song the whole time i waited on line. Everyone there seemed so eager to vote, even though the lines were longer than anyone had ever seen them there. Afterwards, "For Now" from Avenue Q came on my ipod and when "George Bush!" got called out, I broke down in tears right in the middle of the street.
Being with friends. It was my friend Alex's birthday/election party. His birthday is such that it usually falls right around election day. It was an amazing assortment of people with whom I went to college. Lots of them are married now, but since lots of those marrieds don't have kids yet, they can still come out to play on a school night. After the total horror that was losing in 2000 when we were all at Wesleyan, i really felt like something was restored to us as a group to be able to witness Barack's win together. We've basically spent our adult lives working against a horrible, divisive, fear-mongering administration. For me, it felt almost baptismal to be with them the moment they announced that Obama had won at 11pm. It felt like so much weight and sadness had been washed away. Finally we could address these huge problems facing our world with hope in our hearts instead of anxiety and frustration. The country did what it collectively ought to have done in electing Barack Obama. That knowledge, that moment, can never be taken away from us. We did the right thing. John McCain deserved to lose for the campaign he ran. Not because he himself is awful, but because he did not run a campaign that was reflective of him. He gave control of his campaign to the wrong kind of people with the wrong strategy, and if he could do that with his campaign, he could do that with his Administration. But getting back to my main point, being able to unite with my friends in-person, after uniting with them via the internet to take a more active part in the campaign was a truly momentous occasion. For us to be a little older, a little wiser, a little more active and a lot more hopeful eight years later? That is fucking awesome.
Taking it to the streets. After Obama's amazing victory speech, we left Alex's apartment and headed for union square. You could hear people all over the place screaming and cheering. Cars and trucks all over were honking horns along with the chant "O-BAM-A! O-BAM-A!" and "YES! WE! CAN!" Union Square was a sea of bodies, all excited none really sure what to do with themselves. We danced and and cheered and hugged... and then i could not ignore the fact that i had to be at work at 9am the next day and had to go home. But the night was filled with a fantastic energy that i will not soon forget.
The next morning. I remember waking up post-election day in 2000 and 2004 and immediately thinking, "what's the use? this is a total nightmare to face the world under a Bush Presidency?" then i checked the news and the race was undecided! Both times! But then it went to Bush. Both times. It was so great to wake up yesterday - even after only 4 hours sleep - and feel the Obama Era taking hold. And I turned on the TV and it was still very clear Obama had won. There would be no court battle, no slimy feeling of a stolen election. We just had the somewhat scary, very hopeful, and totally exciting question to ponder: What Happens Now? Whatever happens, everyone needs to be a part of moving forward. I can't wait to find out what good comes from the change we got.