Thursday, November 06, 2008

Why the jubilation?

I've been thinking about it: why are so many people so happy (including myself) that Obama won the election?

I think there are a number of reasons.

First, it is just plain amazing that a black man will be our next president. It just never seemed possible, and I still feel like I'm pinching myself. In a profound way, it has healed and old old wound in this country. No limitations.

Secondly, I think many of us weren't consciously aware of the emotional damage being done to us watching those in power lie, cheat and steal in a million offensive and painful ways. Almost every day for eight years we have been hurt and outraged by the immoral acts of our administration. It just places a heavy burden on you.

And then, like that, it's gone. Thus, the jubilee. With the lifting of that burden comes elation, and tears. We did it. We are rid of the scoundrels. I don't think any of us expected the power of that feeling when Obama finally won. It was like a tidal wave of relief, for the whole world. We try to be realistic, be cynical, but the relief just overflows.

Then there is Barack Obama himself. You can never really tell, but all signs point to him being an excellent president, a president who serves his country rather than use the position as a way to party and profit. He inspires, he is thoughtful, he listens, and he comforts with his calm and discipline. His family seems truly happy and loving. They seem to be good people.

My final feeling of joy and hope is that, in no small part due to power of the social web, we seem to now be able to elect someone who has not been anointed by the powers that be. Obama defeated the Clinton machine and the Republican machine. That would not have been possible without the money and volunteering from an army of citizens.

Now I'm sure if McCain had won, he would have been a different president than Bush, and there would have been some relief in that. But he was backed by the same scoundrels who backed Bush, and I believe that if he had won, it would have been like a stamp of approval to business as usual. The rest of us, both in the USA and outside of it, would have crawled back into our holes to hunker down and weather it through.

There are difficult days ahead. There are still major issues with the structure of our system. But at least we were able to make our voices heard, and we are now prepared to team together with our government to work to heal these problems, rather than watch with chagrin, outrage and a sense of powerlessness as our administration and their cronies ransack the country.

No comments: