Friday, November 7, 2008

It feels good to be a winner

I've just gotten to the point where I can sit down and think about this week's election and what it means... Of course, I realize what it means for America as a whole - finally, an intelligent president, who can pronounce "nuclear" and who didn't win by casting one half of the country as "elitist" or "right wing" or "religious" or whatever else Karl Rove thought would get people's blood boiling. Yuck.

Since I didn't grow up in the U.S., I don't have the background or the experience to fully appreciate the fact that the country elected a black president. Of course, I understand that it's a HUGE deal, and I am proud of my fellow Americans, but really, in 2008, this should be the norm.

What I think about more - selfishly - is how this election made me feel personally. I got teary-eyed when I cast my ballot - this was my first presidential election since becoming a U.S. citizen. Sure, I voted in primaries, and I went to the caucus this spring, but still, this was the "biggie" that I've been waiting for.

I have no illusions that Obama will be a miracle-worker, or that all of our problems will be solved overnight, or that he won't make mistakes. I also know that my single little lonely vote didn't make or break this election. But the fact that I got to participate - and now have the right to gloat and/or to complain - is an awesome feeling. It really made me feel like I was finally a part of the country, a member of a nation, not just someone who happens to live here and carries a U.S. passport.

I am a bit of a cynic and I don't fall easily for "change" and "hope" and other campaign slogans. But I totally admire those who do and for a while, it was nice to be carried away by that.

P.S. I just found out that the guy who is building our built-in bookshelf placed the Nov. 5 edition of the Journal Tribune under the shelving unit for future generations to find. It has Obama on the front... How super cool is that?