Cautious Optimism on Election Day 2008

I'd been disappointed in myself for not contributing more to Barack Obama's campaign - and then last night, on the last leg of my commute home, I stopped to spend two hours phone banking for his campaign in Downtown Oakland.

And not because it was in any way glamorous, there were people at tables making phone calls from their cell phones in a last effort to make sure to get everyone out that we could to vote for Senator Obama. But I was amazed because people were organized, they were giving their time, their energy and their love to a man few of us have ever met in real life. I went home with happiness in my heart and an optimistic spirit. I resolved to make 2008 great when the year started. And despite the turmoil and the struggles I believe that it has been, partly because of Obama's potential to be President.

Trying to go to sleep last night reminded me of what Christmas Eve was like as a child. I was tired, but restless - and even thought I knocked out, I know I didn't get restful sleep. I set my alarm for 6:45a so that I could calmly make my way to my polling place, VOTE and still get to work on time. I didn't leave quite that early. I used that time to tidy my room a bit, get all of my notes on the various propositions (NO on 8!), have a bowl of cereal, and then put on some red, white and NY Yankees blue.

Being at the polling place was bittersweet. When I got to the polls I was ofcourse disappointed to see a car covered with "Yes on 8," in the YELLOW no less, and parked in the lot. The discrimination propaganda was to be expected. On my walk down Seminary Ave. every telephone poll was adorned with shameful "Yes on 8" sign. My neighbors have them on their front gates, and as decals on their car. It is doubly unfortunate to consider since there are so many other Propositions more applicable to their lives that it would be more appropriate for them to be supporting that they may not known much if at all about.

I was glad, however, to see even a small line formed as folks waited to get their ballots and then for a space to make their selections. And EVERYONE was there for OBAMA, so even if only for that, we are headed in the right direction. Today is HISTORIC. My grandmother is working at the polls in my old neighborhood in Flushing. My Fairy God Mom is workin' for Obama in Los Angeles. We are all enthusiastic about Obama. I can't say that I felt the same way four years ago. It wasn't until the last second that I decided to put my bid in for Kerry. Hell I donated to the Nader campaign. But I'm all about Obama.

I sent a mass text to as many people I love as I could muster (sending texts to 50 plus ppl takes dedication!) offering the positive energy I was feeling for having voted. It was a good excuse to be in touch with those whom I'd lost contact with over the past few months, and a good way to spread a little cheer to folks who I know migth be feeling the same way that I am.

I'm anxious. Happy but I don't want to get too happy and then again I don't want to be a pessimist. As I sit upon the precipice of what might be one of the greatest days in my young adult life YET, I can't help but be overcome with emotion. I went to the same High School as our current President, and went to the same college as the man who might become our next President. Can't say that I haven't been in priveleged space. As I wait I hope for, as Pamela from phone banking last night described as the moment when the results make it look like "someone knocked a blue inkwell over on our map." Maybe that's expecting a lot, but Barack has sold me on the possibility of change.

When Obama wins, my next effort will be figuring out how to hold him accountable.
(If McCain wins, I might seriously consider planning my return to Denmark!)


1 comment:

  1. hehehe, I could write so much now but I will try to keep it short:
    I love your dedication, I love your intellect and your very strong sense of justice (which has made us both lead some arguments sometimes but fuck that lol) and you are great!

    obama is great!
    I have been watching the election for about 6 or 7 hours straight, which wasn't even a strain at all, although Obama was elected at 5am our middle-european time. It was very thrilling and I talked on the phone with parts of my family in NYC. They of course also voted for him and truly - Obama also stands for reuninion. Because it has been a long time that I have not been talking to them and this magnificent event brought us a little closer.

    Now I'm optimistic with moving to US real soon, cause under BUSH or McCain I would have never done that - or at least not in the near future.

    Congrats America!

    P.S.: I'm struggling to get myself an Obama shirt, cause overhere there are hardly any places where to get it ^^



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