As we reflect on yesterday’s historic election, I wanted to share what my sister Beth wrote in her blog:
Last night I didn’t go to any parties or gatherings to watch the election returns. I went to bed hoping for two things:
1. the OTC heartburn medication I bought would let me sleep through the night
2. I would wake up in the morning to a new world.
I got my wish on both accounts. As I laid in bed, watching the returns, feeling my daughter moving in my womb I thought of what a new world would mean for her. Could she really never know a time when a young black boy would never think himself capable of being president? Was it really possible that for her entire life the possiblity of change would be not only possible but actual? Should it really happen that when she watches future interviews with Sasha Obama she will only need to wonder what the time was like before Sasha’s father was elected the first African-American President? Will she really never understand how huge this all is?
As I cast my ballot for President-Elect Obama yesterday I did so with one hand on my expanding belly. I did so looking around a room of a variety of ages, and considering my geographic location, a diversity of races. We were a high school gymnasium full of college aged young adults to elderly women in wheel chairs. We were a white, black, asian, straight, gay, wealthy, not-so wealthy hodge-podge of people. We weren’t there to vote for the same guy. We weren’t there because we all agreed on every issue. We were there because we believed our vote, our opinion, mattered. In my mind I thought “Even if this doesn’t end the way I want it to, I am so proud of all of these people, just for showing up” The energy in the room was palpable. We were all smiling and glad to wait in line. We were a proud group, and there was much for which we had to be proud.
Someday, when my daughter and I are talking about politics, as no doubt we will, I am certain I will reflect back on my feelings today. I will remember the true feeling of hope I am experiencing. I will remember thinking of the young black men who woke up this morning with one more job description on their list of possible outcomes. I will remember thinking about the mothers everywhere who can now honestly say “You, my precious child, can be anything you want to be, even the president of the United States.” and she’ll mean it. I will remember with thankfulness and pride this beautiful, very good day.
No matter which candidate you supported, it’s wonderful to know that millions of Americans took part in this great democratic process. Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama, and I look forward to four years without a shrub in the White House!