In June i wrote about a new sense of patriotism. Last night, tearful and hopeful, i watched Barack Obama become elected 44th president of the United States of America. I watched democracy work. I watched hope and change lead the nation to make history. I watched people come together to celebrate a new beginning for our country. I watched elderly black Americans break down in tears because they remember a much different time. I watched children, waving American flags on their parents' shoulders, cheering, "yes we did!" I watched Barack Obama address the nation as our first African American president.
Obama represents more than diversity to our nation. Though his commitment to diversity and equality is key. He represents a different way. Obama became elected through grass roots organizing, youth empowerment, first time voters making their voices heard, and lifelong voters realizing it was time for a change.
He is an incredible symbol for America. One of hope, change, and democracy. Obama shows the rest of the world that the American people are not content being associated with the past 8 years. That the people can make a difference. That we can (and did!) determine the course of history. That we can be trusted to elect a leader to represent us as a nation.
I teared up here:
It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
President Elect Barack Obama, that is precisely the reason i campaigned and voted for you. Your commitment to diversity and equality, to change, and to a better and more hopeful tomorrow. Thank you. And um, get to work, because there is A LOT to be done ;)
Thank you everyone who went door to door, who educated their parents and grandparents, who blogged, who spoke up against racism, who volunteered by phone, who stood up against their own party, who handed out flyers, who educated themselves on the issues, who donated money, who stood in lines and in rain to make their voices heard. Thank you. You not only helped get Obama elected president, but also a government that is incredibly conducive to Obama's policies. One in which Obama should be able to accomplish all the instrumental things for which we elected him. And one in which Vice President Elect Joe Biden can work for the issues he's been committed to over the past three decades.
This feels like one of those "where were you when" moments that i am savoring to tell future generations. This is where i was when we elected President Barack Obama. I wasn't just there, but i helped make it happen.