Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Worth Crying About"

A television interview with a beaming African-American girl, about ten years old and up past her bedtime, waiting to celebrate history in Grant Park is one of the images I'll remember from Tuesday. Another is the spectacle of some truly despicable characters hyping "Black Panther intimidation" as a last-minute rallying cry. What a contrast. At this point it couldn't be clearer: the Right can make the most of its extended hike in the wilderness by cutting the cord with the clowns who care only about ratings and page views, or it can continue to traffic in the country's darkest instincts and stay cynical, irrelevant, and old. How'd that work out on Tuesday?

About 11pm, after the outcome was clear, I took a walk on the New York streets. As I passed a ground-level apartment, I saw a young black kid looking at me -- in his pajamas, and not more than about five or six years old. He watched me for a few seconds through the bars on his window, then softly said "Obama." As I type this a bit before midnight, I hear chants of "Yes we can" in the streets below.

For all its potential pitfalls, hope is a good thing, maybe the best. Some would do well to get reacquainted with it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished watching John McCain's concession speech. Just as with Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, the best written and best delivered speech of his entire campaign was the concession. Had all three of them had the same sincerity and demeanor during their campaigns, they would have won. McCain could have had a fighting chance if he had picked Tom Ridge, Colin Powell, or Chuck Hegel as a VP candidate and had not run the incredibly negative and absurd attacks which his supporters never figured out were pure politics. It was obvious (to me, anyway) that the moment the campaign was over, he'd pull the plug and change 180 degrees with his comments about his (now former) opponent. The wingnuts must have their heads spinning right now (a lot of them were booing during his speech despite his efforts to get them to cool it) trying to figure out how the ground shifted out from under them with his incredible change in attitude towards the man whom he and his VP candidate were vilifying and warning was a danger to the country only scant hours ago.

And yes, I caught the Rush Limbaugh travesty about allegations of Black Panthers intimidating voters on the radio earlier today. I listen to him to see how far out on the limb the crazies have crawled, and I thought that if Obama won as expected today, I might eschew the pleasure of listening to that great big fat gasbag any more.

11/05/2008 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had some not too flattering things to say about the American electorate over the last decade or so, but this election takes all that away and makes me feel I should start with a clean sheet going forward. This is a victory for the American electorate at least as much as it is for Barack.
Good Luck and all the best going forward.

11/05/2008 1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching the crowd at the Obama speech made me so happy. The victory was so uplifting for a nation of people who have been left behind. I think it's the boost the nation needs, giving a large portion of the population an invite to work towards something. McCain never offered that. I hope it's the end of his campaign people. May they rot in hell for the shit they foisted on the voters. As for Limbaugh and the rest of the ass clowns. Having a black liberal muslim terrorist in the white house should punish them adequately.

11/05/2008 2:24 AM  
Blogger Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Tears of joy. What a long road.

11/05/2008 4:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for a chainsmoking, coke snorting black guy whose name rhymes with Osama and he won.

Ain't life grand?

11/05/2008 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Kilfarsnar said...

I will second all of the comments so far. This is truly a great day for America, and the world. As Obama said, we still have a long road ahead of us and many critical problems to deal with. But I believe that Barack Obama is the right man for this time. He is clear-headed and intelligent. McCain, for his part, was classy last night, even if some of his supporters weren't.

It will be tough, but for the first time in many years I feel truly hopeful about what this country can do.

11/05/2008 8:55 AM  
Blogger asklouise said...

The story about the little boy saying, "Obama" is yet another great thing about this election.

Thanks for continuing to be a voice of reason.

11/05/2008 9:49 AM  
Blogger jalexei said...

The huge problems and threats in our own nation and abroad remain; our next president faces herculean challenges made even more difficult by stratospheric expectations, and yet I feel this morning as if I'm glowing; actually giving off heat and light.

Of course I was cynical, we all were (and may be again soon enough), but I don't think I'd realized how hard and dense that shell had grown. Eight years let some subtle but deep roots form in that sadness and despair I felt watching my nation drift from the values it claims to champion.

And then, watching that camera pan across a Chicago park, seeing diversity - not stage managed or filled out to fit some PC quota, but real, spontaneous diversity, the kind that really does make us American; young, old, black, white, asian, hispanic, native-american, tie-dye next to ties. Truth be told, I can tear up rather easily sometimes, but I didn't think I'd ever see a day where politics would trigger the swell of emotions that marked last night.

Yes We Can? I don't know, honestly, but for the first time in recent memory, I feel ready to pitch in and give it a shot.

Because who knows? Stranger things have happened.

11/05/2008 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, A President Who Looks Like Me!

"I'm not blind, and I'm not deluded. I don't expect anybody to embrace me as their soul brother. But in his unabashed belief in education over glorified ignorance, in wisdom over warmongering, in humanism over denominational hubris, in effort over expedience, and in service over self-interest Barack Obama is the first president in my lifetime who resembles me and the people I know."

We need to help those that are blinded by radical fundamentalism, ideology, and hatred. They need a hand-up too. Unfortunately it looks like Proposition 8 in CA is going to pass.

It was nice that we didn't have to call in the lawyers, Supreme Court and count hanging chads. I hope the Karl Rove days are gone. I hope everyone is inspired by the positive possibilities for themselves, our country, and the world. But, do you think Fox, Limbaugh, and those guys will help build us up, or stay negative and tear us down with demagoguery?

11/05/2008 12:43 PM  
Anonymous judyo said...

"Rosa had to sit so Martin could walk,
Martin had to walk so Barack could run,
Barack had to run so our children can fly."

11/05/2008 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11/05/2008 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Kilfarsnar said...

Anon @ 5:31:

I clicked the link, and all I could think was, "What does Far Left mean these days?" I know what it used to mean. If he had chosen Bernie Sanders I might agree. But really, if Joe Biden is "far left" where the hell is the center?

11/06/2008 5:09 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


And when I was in Fiji the black kids were saying, "Bula!"

"Yes we can" what? Win an election with OPRAH's help?

This so reminds me of the Kennedy Thang! What I "HOPE" for, no politician in DC can deliver ...


Its a "pink cloud" ...


11/08/2008 4:31 PM  

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