Wednesday, November 5, 2008

History is Made

This will be short - it's late.
I've just watched history unfold. Barack Obama has been elected president of these United States.
Now I'm actually something of an Independent, not really married to one party or the other, although I've voted for the Democratic presidential candidate ever since I was old enough to realize that my parent's view of the world was not the only view that existed. I'm ashamed to admit that I bought into the venom spewed about Jimmy Carter being responsible for all of America's problems in 1980 and I voted for Reagan. Not since, however. Yet I have occasionally voted for a local Republican I admired or respected, and have occasionally voted Republican in some of the state elections. I almost never vote a straight party ticket.
I also don't buy into the "Obama-will-make-world-all-better" bullcrap. Obama is after all a politician and I haven't run into one of those yet that I would trust with my own family's well-being. He has been bought and paid for just as McCain has been and Bush was before. But I distinctly remember watching him give that speech in '04 I think it was and thinking "wow, this guy gets it". I can only hope that some of the beautiful, inclusive, uniting words he spoke came from somewhere below the politician in him and will be there underneath what he actually does in office.
The 2 parties will still control the shots, and for those who think we are now doomed because a black man, or a democrat, or a man with a Muslim sounding name, is our leader, take heart. Things are not really going to change that much. The Democrats have not done much differently than the Republicans have in recent years. You couldn't hardly tell the difference between the last 2 candidates we had to choose from, Bush and Kerry. The cycles have gone on the same whether we have Red or Blue in the White House. The Bush administration pushed us to the brink of economic ruin with their deregulation, but it was Clinton who initially opened that door for the Republicans to bulldoze their way through. Everyone associates the Republicans with stricter immigration laws, but Bush's policies were more liberal than Clinton's in that aspect.
Here is what I think is great.
Maybe, just MAYBE, we are starting to see the degradation of our our old fears and prejudices.
Maybe, just MAYBE, we are starting to see past the old seperating factors.
Maybe, just MAYBE, we'll look at what someone has to offer without loading them up with the baggage of their ancestry.
And we can finally say - ANYBODY can grow up to be ANYTHING in this country and not be lying through our teeth when we say it.
It has to start somewhere, maybe this is it. The time is surely many generations away when we will be completely past all this, but maybe we have finally started on a path to truly accepting all of our fellow men, regardless of ethnicity and ancestry.
Now if we can just elect a gay oriental next time :)