Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thank You America!

I have had an emotional day, one that began last evening and one that continues to the current moment. But it's all tempered, all made right, by the votes that I find totaled in the right column. We made history yesterday!
Coming home late from a meeting I covered for the newspaper, I sat myself down in front of the TV and began watching election coverage on CNN and ABC. Mom went to bed at about 8:30 p.m. and asked to be awakened when the results were in.
By 10:30 p.m., with Obama's lead grown to more than double McCain's, I thought it safe to go to bed. I took my iPod Touch along, plugged it into its AC adapter and turned on the clock radio, too.
By 10:55 a.m. I listened to a local broadcaster interview a journalist in Washington. The last question asked of him: "When do you think we'll know who won?" The answer: "Listen to Fox News at 11 p.m."
Of course the news was good: Obama was chosen our next president. History made in our own time. I looked at CNN on the web and they were still hedging their bets. The BBC, however, made the same announcement as Fox. It was over.
I walked into Mom's bedroom, woke her and told her Obama was the president-elect. Going downstairs, I informed Dad, too (he was still awake, said he couldn't sleep with all the excitement).
I listened to the radio for another hour. First McCain's touching concession speech and then Obama's wonderful speech from Chicago's Grant Park.
Even before I drove to my meeting I had walked out to Clayton Road and took down our Obama sign. It had been vandalized once (run over by a gray truck while I watched from the front window) and then wholly taken last Saturday night. But we had a second in the garage. Freedom of speech?
Could this thing even be possible? This was a perfect political storm: war, economy, a bright young man. Obama came along at just the right time and just as Lincoln set the stage with his 1858 debates with Douglas, so too did Obama with his convention speech four years ago.
I have a renewed sense of hope that the world's opinion of America will rise again, that our opinion of ourselves will improve, that our "can do" will return.
We did the right thing yesterday. We truly made history.