In This Bittersweet Now

I'm sorry to talk about the election, I really am. I know you're all electioned out. You don't have to read it if you don't want to, of course. And to be honest, it's kind of a downer. But I feel so mixed up right now. Or, a better word, bittersweet.

On one hand, all of the people/issues I voted for passed, which has never happened before. I've never voted for a winner (except for one senate race). My candidate for governor, Jay Nixon, won by a landslide (with 57% of the votes, I believe). Both of the issues I really cared about in my state (Proposition A which changed the rules about gambling, giving schools a shit ton more money, and Prop C, which had to do with renewable energy) both passed overwhelmingly.

And, of course, some dude won some race for president. I can't begin to describe the elation I felt when CNN first projected Obama as the winner. I immediately began crying because that's the only way I could get it out. I then saw MSNBC and Foxnews also report him the winner, and knew it had really happened. We had really voted for change. We had really voted against the tyranny and against four more years of the same failed policies.

And yes, we voted for a black man, which is huge. I personally didn't vote for or against him because of the color of his skin, but I understand some people did. If I were going to vote for someone based on a physical attribute, I would have voted for Hilary in the primaries. But I didn't.

And yet, along with the elation I felt, I also felt sorrow. Sorrow for John McCain. He was perfectly gracious, honorable, and strong during his concession speech, and it reminded me of the old John McCain. The John McCain who wasn't afraid to stand up for what he believed in, who wasn't afraid to reach across party lines, and who didn't put air quotes around "women's health." That was a guy I could have stood behind. That was a guy who could have helped heal this country after 8 years of such divisive partisanship. I feel badly for how poorly managed his campaign was, and I feel badly that he felt an inexperienced, unpolished, controversial woman could possibly be a good choice as a VP.

There are many other issues that killed my good feeling buzz as well. To quote my future sister in law's Facebook status "remembering the sounds of the campus last night, while people in California wake up to find out they aren't legally married anymore" I'm amazed that we've made so much progress that a black man was voted president, and yet we're still writing hate into the constitution. Not just in California, obviously, but also in Florida and Arizona.

I'm appalled. I'm truly appalled. It gives me a sick feeling in my stomach to think about the hatred and bigotry that's still occurring on a daily basis. I don't see how we could have come so far in civil rights, but are so backwards still. It sickens me that people would vote to take away our right to choose how to express love.

It just proves how far we still have to go. We've made progress, yes. Barack Obama is living proof of that. But until we stop discriminating against each other based on things that are out of our control (for example, the color of our skin or who we love)we can't move forward.

However, I'm hopeful. Hopeful about our future as a nation, hopeful we can come together to make a real change. We have the tools we need. We have a President-elect who's one of the most dynamic, exciting politicians in a long time. I truly hope he lives up to his promise, and I have no doubt he will. After all, Yes We Can.


ajooja said...

I know how you feel. I was excited and all, but my blog post today was more about getting it out of my system than writing something meaningful.

Four years ago, I wrote a scathing, heartfelt diatribe about all of the idiots who voted for Bush.

This year, I didn't want to gloat. I didn't want to battle back-and-forth with the idiots. I didn't want to make a big deal about my stance on anything.

Obama has tiny, miniscule shoes to fill but he's got a lot of work to do.

Avitable said...

So, next, we need a gay black man to be President.

I vote for Lafayette from True Blood.

whall said...

Good post. I'm glad you were an informed voter.

dmarks said...

I wish Nixon had run in my state. I'd love to have a "Vote Nixon: He's tanned, rested, and ready" bumper sticker.

@Avitable: From True Blood? Is he a vampire too? Might be a breath of honesty to have someone who admits he is a bloodsucker in office.

Avitable said...

He's not a vampire, but he's the ass-kickingest gay black man on television.