I expected to feel totally elated today after Barack Obama's amazing victory but I've been in kind of a bummer mood. The day has been weird for a lot of reasons ... I think it's been a combination of post-election blues, frustration and sadness about prop 8 passing, and dealing with some negativity on a personal level.
But my spirits have been lifted because my genius cartoonist/graphic designer husband just emailed me a political cartoon he created this afternoon:
Yay Johnny! I love it.
It reminds me that although there's a big mess we have to clean up in this country, Obama's campaign proved we have already overcome so much. Obama didn't let racism, fear or lies stand in his way. He kept his campaign message positive the whole race, focusing on the hope of something better for our country. Hope is indeed alive and well.
So ... how was your election night?
John and I spent the night with my mom & dad, my sister and her BF and a bunch of my parents' friends.
There were drinks and tons of food ... but I couldn't enjoy my mom's yummy cheese ball or take more than a bite of her homemade (from scratch!) chocolate cake because I was just full to the brim with nervous energy -- even after the electoral vote count showed that Obama had won, that the presidency was his, a totally done deal. I can't really explain it ... I think it just didn't feel real. After living through eight years of Bush, it seemed too good to be true.
It wasn't real for me until Obama walked out on the stage at Grant Park in Chicago and gave his incredibly moving acceptance speech.
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our Founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
After he began his speech with this line, I started bawling. And proceeded to wipe away tears and more tears throughout the speech.
I had lost my faith in America, lost my hope in democracy ... but now hope has been restored. Now I know what it truly means to feel patriotic. After feeling ashamed of my country because of Iraq, it feels good to be proud.
I will remember Tuesday night forever. So happy I was alive to see the first African American to be elected president. And aside from race, I just feel so lucky to be alive at the same time as such an inspiring person.
It's going to be so surreal to actually respect and admire our president.
When I went to bed Tuesday I told John, "We have the coolest president in the world!" We hi-fived and I thought about how great it's going to be to redeem ourselves in the eyes of the world, to show the world that America really is the land of dreams ... to work towards bringing peace to the rest of the world, not war.
As Obama says -- Yes we can. This is our moment.
Obama closed his speech by saying:
"America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there's so much more to do. So tonight let us ask ourselves, if our children should live to see the next century ... what change will they see? What progress will we have made?"
Can't wait to see what the future holds for our country. Can't wait to be a part of making the U.S. a better place for all of us.
Obama's full acceptance speech - both in video and in text - can be found here.