Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just One More Day

I was reading a post that Elizabeth at A moon, worn as if it had been a shell wrote today about getting into an online Facebook tiff and I thought about how today I didn't want any negativity.

I intentionally shied away from blogs with any kind of sour grapes about the election. On Tuesday as we watched the returns come in, Scott and I drank champagne and I cried and then cried some more as we watched history happening and people celebrating all over the world and I didn't want anything to rain on that feeling. Every time I saw a clip of people in another country celebrating with us, I had that crazy Sally Field at the Oscars sensation of "they like us! they really like us!", unlike that uncomfortable -- I think I'll pretend I'm Canadian when I'm in Europe -- feeling I've had since 2003.

Paul Begala on CNN made a funny comment a few days ago as the McCain campaign seemed to be crumbling before our eyes. He said something to the effect that when liberals lose, they go off to a yurt somewhere, smoke a bunch of dope and ponder what went wrong. Conservatives get into a knife fight.

He's right. I can remember sort of quietly going off to a corner and licking my wounds when Bush won the last two elections and I don't remember lashing out. I think most of us just sighed, shrugged our shoulders and got on with it.

There has never been an election where the people -- we the people -- felt so empowered and celebrated the election of a leader the way we did Tuesday night. For each snarky comment I glimpsed and then refused to read or acknowledge on Wednesday, I had the image of that crabby old man at the end of every episode of Scooby Doo who'd shake his fist in angry frustration -- if it wasn't for those meddling kids!

People are bound to be disappointed as we enter this new and difficult era and mistakes are bound to be made, but I have faith unlike any I've ever had before and for the first time in my life as an American I feel like I'm finally part of a "we". An unprecedented number of us made this happen. I hope the people who are unhappy about the election results will eventually understand that they are a part of "us" and our collective arms are wide open.

Yeah, I sound pretty sappy right now, which isn't like me, but I'm going with it. It feels good to shed eight years of cynicism.


usman said...

It is a good day to feel proud of being an American. Right now, I would want to be too and I'm not saying that because the US is a superpower.
The sense of empowerment of a people, and the kind of leader America has produced has left me in awe.
And if Americans can't understand what they have achieved and how the world is ready to give them a second chance; yes, a chance at being respected--then...Lisa here is where I shut up.

debra said...

Four years ago, I felt sad and betrayed. There was really not much for this Ohioan to say (which is in itself unusual).
Now the world joins in a huge sigh of relief and in feelings of joy and hope.
Yesterday, the Newseum posted front pages of newspapers from around the world:

kristenspina said...

So well said, Lisa. I couldn't agree more. And I love this comment from Usman, "The sense of empowerment of a people, and the kind of leader America has produced has left me in awe. And if Americans can't understand what they have achieved and how the world is ready to give them a second chance..."

Amazing, isn't it?

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm certainly hoping for good things.

Denis said...

I got up this morning and starting asking myself, "What can I do?", (and that's not like me!

Melissa Marsh said...

For me personally, I think I've always had faith and pride in my country. I may have disagreed vehemently with what we have done, but I always had the optimism that we had the ability to make it right.

I know there has been a great deal of rhetoric on both sides about hope and change, but for me...well, I've always felt that hope. I've always felt that we can change or improve what is broken. That is what makes us uniquely American. And every time I've gone to the polls, in this election and in elections past, I've felt that pride, that I, a humble wife, mother, and AMERICAN, can vote for who I want to vote for because I live in such a great nation.

When you look at the average American, at the small towns and the humble people who go to work every day and provide for their families, who have pride in their homes and pride in their jobs, that is what America is to me. It's not what is going on in Washington or what we're doing around the world (though those are DEFINITELY important issues), but it is us as a PEOPLE who make me proud, and have always made me proud to be an American.

Going Dutch said...

I had many of the same feelings and emotions. It is very cool to feel Europeans warm to Americans as a result of this amazing result. I was congratulated by a "Dutchie" yesterday in the supermarket.
Hope is a beautiful thing.
Americans coming together the way they just have is just brilliant.
The world is already changing - and I also no longer have to pretend to be Canadian :)
I have been on such a high for the last couple of days. It still feels pretty surreal - especially from afar.
Isn't it wonderful????

Seachanges said...

Yes, we celebrated all over the world! We were there with you...

Mary Ann said...

I'm still excited over the election. Can't wait for 1/20/09.

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Literary Quote

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.

Virginia Woolf