Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Going Against The Grain.

As the title of this blog might indicate, if your powers of deduction are where they should be, I'm not generally the most hopeful, glass-half-full kind of person. Which is why the following needs to be said: in light of the election, I feel, for the first time in my life, a sense of hope and pride that I know I've never felt before. No measure of the jaded bitterness that I cultivated for so long could have postulated where we stand as a country today, or that I would have been so motivated to be a part of that change. I'm still in a state of disbelief, because even with the repeated pronouncements of every news outlet that this was an historic event, the full gravity of what just happened hasn't fully sunk in yet emotionally - although on an intellectual level, I have already wrapped my head around it.

And I think what strikes me the most is that we live in a country that I was certain was unable to enact the kind of systemic change we saw yesterday. And I don't think I've ever been more happy to be wrong in my life. Is he going to change everything that's wrong? No, probably not. Certainly not. But he seems to want to try. He spoke to something in me that I assumed was long since dead, but it turns out was just dormant, and waiting for someone with the right message to rouse it from its slumber.

As for the path not taken, I couldn't help but listen to the concession speech and think to myself, "if he ran his campaign with the level of compassion and heartfelt pride with which he now speaks, we might have had a very different result". I think he realized as he addressed his supporters just how wrong he was in all of the choices he made along the way, and you could really hear the regret in his voice. People in the audience were still yelling and booing, even at that last stop. Hopefully this will serve not as a sticking point, and a polarizing event in our history, as many of those supporters wished it to be along the trail, but a call for sense and unity - sincerely - which is what we need right now.

I guess you really do reap what you sow.