This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Watching History Unfold

I have never been so proud to be an American citizen as I was last night. Americans came out in record numbers and cast their votes for our first black president. To watch the scenes on the news across the world, people celebrating in the streets, it was a wonderful thing. When was the last time that the world celebrated (that wasn't a scheduled holiday or a sporting event)? I'm not usually a big crier, but I was definitely all choked up last night.

I'm honored to have had even such a small part in volunteering for his campaign. While I voted for Gore in 2000, and Kerry in 2004, I didn't really believe in either man. I supported their positions, and I rather like Gore (moreso now that he has done great things in environmental awareness), but I didn't believe either man had the potential to change the world. I really believe Obama can change the world. Maybe he won't; maybe he'll fail like all the others. (Although I doubt he could be as much of a massive fuck-up as Dubya, so that's something at least.) But he has the potential to do great things, and I hope he will have the wisdom and the ability to seize the incredible opportunity that is before him. The dialog has been about the difficulties that are ahead, and that's painfully true. He has more problems to face than could be bullet-point listed in a 10-page memo. But he has momentum on his side, and I hope he'll charge through his first days in office in such an incredible way that history barely remembers FDR's first 100 days. Right now, he's made history for being the first black president. I hope he'll make history for being one of our greatest presidents.

I'm incredibly excited that our reputation in the world has improved just for electing Obama. (I have a lot of American friends who work, or serve, abroad. Their stories are similar.) The world's leaders are scrambling for the chance to work with him, friend and foe. His popularity won't solve all our problems, but I really believe that diplomacy is strengthened when our leader has the respect of the rest of the world. I hope he uses that advantage wisely. He has excellent judgment in foreign relations, that's the basis of his appeal for me. His presidency makes me want to sign up for the foreign service exam right now!

Anyway, I'm incredibly disappointed and disgusted that California voters passed the gay marriage ban. Bigotry prevails again (as it did in a few other states -- an especially big "fuck you" goes to Arkansas voters). However, there is a silver lining. The race was close, incredibly close. Just eight years ago, California had banned gay marriage by large margins. Times are changing. There's a long road ahead, but we will arrive at equality for our gay citizens. I have faith. It wasn't that long ago that it was illegal for people of different races to marry. I have faith that by the time Cora is an adult, if she wants to marry a woman, she will have that legal right. Even in our state. Although probably not in Alaska. (Another "fuck you" goes to Alaska for possibly re-electing a convicted felon to Congress. Apparently the only vote Ted Stevens lost after his conviction was his own.)

And someday I will tell her about how she got two "I Voted" stickers on the day Barack Obama was elected president. How her father stood in line with her for an hour and a half to vote for Obama, when she got her first sticker. And how, later that day, when I stood in line with her for only 45 minutes to vote, she peeled off and ate her "I Voted" sticker. (So we got her a new one.)


Digger said...

You SHOULD sign up for the Foreign Service Exam. This is a great time to serve our country!

Trannyhead said...

Kerry sucked. I voted for him, but I sure as hell didn't LIKE him. I don't think anybody did!

LL said...

That's a good point about the change in the margins in California's gay marriage ban, an almost silver lining. And I love that Cora ate her I Voted sticker :)