Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jane: New President for US

Election Day was quite exciting at our house.

Bruce had his usual stint at the local radio station, giving political analysis as the counts were coming in. He enjoys doing that--maybe you know that his original career goal was to be a radio announcer.

I had to teach that evening, so the boys had their favorite babysitter, Courtney, over.

They didn't spend the evening playing retro video games, like they usually do with Courtney--they watched the election returns!

Robbie had a US map and red and blue pens--a project for his social studies class. Eli was just interested in watching. We'd taken both of them to the caucuses in January, so they've been part of this all along.

Caucuses are great interactive theatre, by the way, and a great place to introduce kids to politics. The democrats elect their nominee with their feet, as in "everyone who's caucusing for Hillary, over in that corner. Obama, you guys come on up here." Then we count off how many people are in each group, determine which groups are viable, and reshuffle if necessary. Goofy! And very exciting.

We were all excited to see Obama slowly pull ahead--at first by just 200,000 votes, and then by more and more. I sent the boys to bed just before McCain gave his gracious concession speech.

Now we're looking at a new era, and it's exciting. I can't even imagine wanting to be president at a time like this, but I'm glad it'll be Obama.

I wasn't sure about him at first. I knew I'd go for a democrat because I agree with their policies; I just wasn't sure he was the one. But I was slowly convinced by his thoughtful, rational explanations of his positions (he is a former college professor!); his determination not to use the "us-and-them" approach--"we're not red states and blue states but the United States;" his coolness in stressful situations. And all of us in the Rhetoric department are thrilled--THRILLED--that we now have a president who is an eloquent and knowledgeable speaker!

That's why I voted for him: I think he has the makings of an excellent national leader.

It's odd how much of the news coverage is about the symbolism of this race: a bi-racial person was elected President--that means we are no longer racist in America! Or whatever. I agree that this election has a lot of symbolic weight--probably more for people of color than for me. But we all elected Obama--well I did--because we thought he was the best person for the job, and in a way, it didn't matter whether he was bi-racial or African-American or white. I was shocked to hear the radio reports about how some people found it difficult to support him because he's dark-skinned.

I hope that the symbolism isn't "now a dark-skinned person can be president" but "now the best person, no matter what they look like, can be president."

1 comment:

wclaspy said...

Check out James Woods' comments on Obama's Tuesday speech.