It is a rare occurrence to get exactly what you are hoping for, so you often find the accomplishment strange and wonderful all at the same time. It seems a little unreal. Such is the situation with the election of Barack Obama as our next President. I’m still trying to take it all in. We elected a man who’s an eloquent speaker and an engaged author. We elected a tail-end Baby Boomer, a person divorced from the political psychodramas of recent years. We elected a man who is conversant in policy arcana and plays pick-up hoops. We elected a man who understands grassroots power, who created a machine that beat the bejeezus out of mainstream politicians. We elected an African-American and a former community organizer to be our next President!
The best description I’ve read of the remarkable change that we saw on Tuesday was written by Jason Lefkowitz from the Change To Win union organization, who wrote:
147 years ago, Richmond was a rebel capital, the nerve center for a nation of millions extending from the Atlantic to the Rio Grande, united in arms to achieve one aim: retaining the right to own human beings as property based on the color of their skin. But now it’s an American city like any other. And yesterday, 79% of its residents voted to make Barack Obama — a black man — the next President of the United States.
History moves slowly. But it does move.
We have a lot to work on. My to-do list includes: ending the war in Iraq, rolling back the Bush Administration’s use of torture and abuse of people’s civil rights, extending health care to all, creating a plan to promote alternative energy and reduce global warming, ending the genocide in Darfur, helping stabilize the housing and credit markets, helping all Americans obtain safe and affordable housing, pass the Employee Free Choice Act–enabling millions of workers to form unions–well, you get the picture. We’ve lived in a deep freeze of fear and ignorance for the past eight years. It’s time to get to work.