America! Eff Yeah!

We did it. We actually did it.

This is the first time in my entire life that I am proud to be an American and so proud of what the collective country accomplished together. When I was in high school, I read Jefferson’s original political essays which inspired the Declaration of Independence. I learned the principals by which this country was originally founded and I cried because we had not been upholding them for a long time. We strayed even further from those principals with the last 8 years. I had honestly begun to think that we would never take a step back toward that place.

Last night I cried again. But they were tears of joy. Things are looking up, my friends. Last night we forewent the overcrowded Stranger election party for the Nite Lite, which is one of my absolute favorite bars in Seattle. There was plenty of room, drinks are always cheap, the lighting is warm and inviting, and it was Tamale Tuesday (2 tamales plus beans, rice and a PBR for $6!)

I sat at a table with expats from red states. Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia (me). But last night those red states turned blue. (Well, at least North Carlina is getting there. We also had a California, a Vermont/New Hampshire and some native Washingtons but those guys are always blue.) And then Obama was declared the president elect and the entire bar cheered and clapped and then the crowd hushed and we watched McCain concede. There were some boos, especially when the camera cut to Palin, but for the most part we saw, not bitterness, but relief in the eyes of John McCain. He doesn’t want this mess. He has no idea where to begin. But Obama does. President Obama does.

When Obama delivered his victory speech, we all knew we were watching something iconic and historical. Not just because we were looking at the first black president, but because we were looking at a man who is completely right for the job and who wants to help everyone out of the blackness. His speech was amazing: humble, confident, funny, serious, inspirational, emotional and highly quotable.

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.”

For the first time I understand why people have pictures of the president in their homes. I want a framed picture of President Obama on my wall. I want to listen to him address the nation as our president for as long as possible.

The Sound Transit expansion prop passed. The parks improvement prop passed. Death with Dignity passed. Tim Eyeman’s jerkface prop DIDN’T pass. Dino Rossi ISN’T our new governor. It’s getting better, man.

The one fly in the ointment is that California’s horribly backward Prop 8 passed. But surely that sort of bigotry can’t last, can it? (Clearly, I’m feeling a lot more optimistic all of a sudden.)

When we left the bar people we found people celebrating in the streets. Horns were honking. Our African cab driver talked excitedly to us and then to his friends on the phone. He honked his horn and shouted “YES WE CAN” out the window. None of us minded being stuck in traffic. We were just keeping the party going.

On Capitol Hill, the police closed off the streets and let people dance and hug and revel. I wanted to revel too and now kind of wish I had instead of going home. But we were tired. It’s been a long, dark journey to get here. And now that we’re here, it’s time for everyone to get some restful sleep. Especially President Obama. He’s gonna need it more than anybody.

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7 Comments

  1. that just made me teary. :) what a breath of fresh air this is!!!!

    great article

  2. I love everyone! Except for the bigots in California, Arkansas, Arizona and Florida who hate homosexuals.

  3. Noooobody loves those guys. Including themselves.

  4. This is why I hate Initiatives and props and ballot measures or whatever your state calls them. This bullshit should NEVER be on a ballot.

  5. Agreed. Completely. Occasionally, they do good things like the Sound Transit expansion. But for the most part they are a dangerous idea. Like in Tim Eyeman’s fuckery. And of course all of those hateful anti-civil rights props.

  6. I’m a Hawaii expat (just like our president elect) not a Washington local.

  7. Duh. I knew that. Sorry.


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