I wonder how many people have joyfully spoken/written the phrase, "I never thought I'd see a black president in my lifetime" in the past 24 hours? But let me add my voice to the chorus - I think on some level, I didn't think this country had it in it to take that step forward anytime soon. I find it so encouraging that I could experience this moment in history, that it's happening at a time in my life where I'll be able to look BACK on it and smile, rather than at the end of my days. I get to see what happens NEXT!!
But ultimately, Barack Obama's ethnicity is secondary. All the politics of race aside, he's an extraordinarily inspirational figure, with an ability to rouse feelings of patriotism and optimism in the public unrivaled since Kennedy. His Presidency will convince good, idealistic people, people who wouldn't otherwise think of going into public service, to take part in how this country is molded and run. And that's what this country needs; not just one good man, but a host of good people working towards good things.
As I walked through the streets of the United States of New York City last night, the feelings of goodwill and excitement were intoxicating. Chants of "Yes We Can" rang out through the streets. You could literally hear it from the tops of buildings all the way down to subway platforms underground. It made me so thankful to live in a progressive, liberal city. I love this town.
And it will be nice to be respected on the world stage again. I spoke with a British fellow last night who expressed that very sentiment; that the whole of the global community let go a huge sigh of relief with Obama's election. The USA is the prodigal son that's finally returned after 8 years of tomfoolery, and the world is ready to kill the fatted calf and welcome us back with open arms.
On a personal level, Obama's presidency makes me want to be better. As a an individual and as a citizen of the United States. And I look forward to trying my best.
Yes we can.