The Presidential Election: Barack Obama, The Day After
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The euphoria has not subsided. If you consider yourself a political junkie, yesterday was your Super Bowl, with the added bonus that you get a lot more than a trophy if your team wins. Talking to my friends, perusing the internet, reading the paper, that was the overwhelming feeling: We Won. Even those people my age who were McCain supporters can't deny it. The young people finally have their president. The under thirty vote went to Barack Obama at a 66-32 percent clip. That is an absolute thrashing. I can't tell you how many people I know who grew up in Republican households who, for the first time in their lives, tossed aside the ideologies of their parents and voted Obama. Facebook has turned into a forum of celebration, status updates universally proclaiming victory on a grand level. Yesterday was one of those days that comes along only a few times in your lifetime where hyperbole is not possible. Try as some might, what happened last night can't be over-stated.
I penned my Obama write-up (link) last night before listening to the speeches by McCain and Obama. In a room of fifteen or so raucous twenty-somethings, an electric hush came about when both men took the stage. John McCain was gracious in defeat, breaking out of the bitter shell of a man the campaign had enclosed him inside. Then, the main event came about, and it was something that I will never, ever forget. How could I? President Obama (it feels so good to write that) did not speak as if he had vanquished an able foe, though he had. He spoke like a leader. He spoke like a man who was meant to be there, at that exact moment, presiding over a change so profound that only he could put it into words. The world, in one swift movement, is back on our side. This is important. This is history.
After Obama's speech, I called my father. The speech had him in tears. My father was an activist in his younger days. During the Civil Rights Movement in the 60's, he marched on numerous occasions in numerous cities. In 1984 and in 1988, he was a delegate for Jesse Jackson. He's not a cynical man, but he never thought he would see this day. John McCain, though a good man and a patriot, may have been a fine president. But, despite all the claims of Maverick, John McCain was the status quo. An old white man who had paid his dues. He was a logical president. Obama is not a logical president. The mere symbolism of his election cannot be questioned. It will alter the way Americans think. Kids going through elementary school will have a new perspective. These are good things, things that can't be underestimated.
While watching Obama's speech, slack-jawed, my friend turned to me and said, “Kids will be memorizing this in grade school.” That, I think sums it up. This was history, and we got to be a part of it.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of Getty)