Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Back in the saddle

I had been on the verge of tears in the weeks leading up the election, knowing full well what it meant. But I was not really prepared to see that everybody would be crying. The polls told us what was going to happen, but it was hard to accept it. In my mind's eye I saw a thousand Karl Roves somewhere sneaking around in a minivans picking up some forgotten exurban demographic. As the evening progressed and the numbers played out, we knew what was going to happen, and yet...

When it did, it was still quite a moment. And there was Roland Martin on CNN, adding a little soft commentary as he battled with his tears. And there was the reverend Jesse Jackson, and Oprah, and Steven Colbert, and (it turns out) Condoleeza, and Colin Powell, and seas of people at Grant Park, bawling in shock and trying to comprehend it. And us on our couch with a box of tissues, keeping pace.

He's not just the first black President, in fact, unless I've missed something, he is the first post-colonial subject to take the helm of an imperial power, and our ability to elect him arguably puts America back in the driver's seat of history, even as China finds itself in position to depose us economically. And yes, the grassrootsness and crowdsourcing of the campaign sweeten the deal, and are what make this so special. He didn't just get elected, people really went out of their way to get him elected.

Anyhow, inspiration really peters out here. The Dow dropped almost 500 today and that bounces right off, for now. It's a special day.

3 comments:

rads said...

Beautiful :)

Anonymous said...

I cried when Ted Stevens was re-elected too.

Katherine said...

I had to go to bed, I couldn't get Al Gore out of my mind. I was so scared. I woke the next morning at 5 am, read the NYTimes, put my face in my hands and wept with joy.