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.
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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.