There is so much to say after the election Tuesday night and I know it has all been said better in a thousand columns and other blogs. However there is so much I am feeling right now that I still feel the need to say a few things myself. I cried Tuesday night when I heard Obama won. Tears of relief that our country might finally be making a turn down a better path. Tears for the hope and new promise we have been offered. Tears that my country was able to put aside its racism and elect the first African-American President. Tears for the frustration and anger I felt over the past eight years of bungled and embarrassing "leadership".
I don't think I will ever forget the feelings of anger and bewilderment of the 2004 election. Who were these people who elected this man again? Where was MY country? How dare the right wing keep telling me that me, my friends, my family weren't moral or didn't have "family values" strictly because we vote Democrat. Don't question my patriotism because I question the direction my country is headed. I was tired of our points of view being marginalized and now, with this victory, I feel like we have been heard. An America I was convinced during the caucuses would never elect an African-American has proven me very, very wrong. I have never been happier to have been wrong than I am now. I know Obama's election isn't a panacea for this country. He won't fix all of our problems and the mess he inherits will probably take generations to clean up. But for the first time in my life I feel the cynicism of politics being pushed aside a little and feelings of actual hope entering my withered jaded little heart.
One of the greatest qualities Mr. Obama has is the ability to inspire. This is a man who is doing this not just because of ego but because he truly believes he is a public servant and can make this country and this world a better place. I felt that throughout the campaign and particularly on election night. He can inspire us all to be better people and to bring about change in ourselves and our communities. The leader has been but in place but the words of another leader keep echoing in my head and I wonder now . . . what can I do for my country?