It is a rare thing for me to be more than minimally involved in the political sphere. I do not avoid it intentionally – I just prefer to avoid backbiting and negativity when I can. Politics in this country is often both of those things. I also typically do not to follow celebrity drama or sports. I try to be an informed voter as far as the beliefs and platform of a candidate, but that’s as far as it goes. That’s what I vote on.
But this past election was different. I didn’t really care who won, not because of negativity, but because I thought both presidential candidates would’ve done a reasonable job. I voted my conscience on both people and issues, and was satisfied at having done my duty. But something shifted when I agreed to watch some of the results come in with Corina. The race was very close early on, and I couldn’t help but get caught up in the excitement of it all. I still managed to go home early, but the chemicals running through my bloodstream left me restless. And then, 11:30 – people calling, text messaging exploding across the face of the globe. Meena in particular harangued me for wanting to go to bed now that it was ‘all over’ – how could I miss ‘an historic moment’ like this one? I had to stay up for the victory speech!
I ended up doing so. I’m glad I did – it was a good speech. And it’s nice to know that our new president will be continuing his drive to empower and force the American people to take responsibility. Obama was, as always, well-spoken and friendly and charismatic. That’s good to have in a leader. I wish that he was a little less in absolute control at such times, but that’s probably just my own less serious take on public speaking and my complete lack of a poker face.
Yet i do still wonder how we will move forward. We are a country in decline. I can understand the power of our past and our future, and the possibility for ‘unyielding hope’. It is a strength that is also a danger. Are our hopes, as a nation, merely difficult or completely unrealistic? Do wwe even know what changes we want to effect? Can this kind of grassroots politics be sustainable, especially for a nation as large and disparate as our own? I suppose the next few years may begin to tell.