Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama for President

It's election day and it feels like Christmas. I could not be more excited, and frankly I am rooting for a landslide. I'm hoping that by the time I get home tonight and the first polls close, this thing will already be over. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida are the states to watch. McCain needs to run the table to win, so one blue square and he's done. I have my doubts about Ohio, but I'm from there and I know how stupid those people can be. On the other hand, I can't remember ever seeing so many Democratic signs in the upper middle class suburbs even in 1992. Meanwhile, when the returns start coming in the from the west, from Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and California, it will just be affirmation and reaffirmation.

This election means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It's about Bush, and his awful administration. It's about the war in Iraq. It's about Katrina. It's about torture. It's about the culture wars. It's about the Religious Right. It's about anti-intellectualism. It's about faux-Patriotism. It's about every appeal to divisiveness, malice, and pitting the elect us against the preterite them. The possibility of an Obama presidency is a turning away from all these things, a rejection of the resentments and hatreds of the past, the dead-ender's philosophies, and the hope and promise of a better tomorrow. More importantly it restores the notion that America always exists in the future tense. It is not a place or a people, but an idea that we all aspire to. Wherever you came from, whatever your ancestry, your religion, in America, you are a citizen first and foremost.

As a Gen-xer I was raised on the diversity and optimism of Sesame Street and the original Star Trek. There was a spirit of community and opportunity in those shows and in our childhoods that only soured under Reagan and the rise of the Conservative movement. Every utopia became a dystopia. Idealism gave way to cynicism and disenchantment. Under Clinton, we had a brief respite, but in Obama we have the chance to truly turn from fear and again embrace those ideals of community and our shared interconnectedness. Our greatest hopes may yet be possible, in this most improbable of presidents.

Best of luck today to Barack Obama.