Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Past Due

I know they say this was not about race. That's what they say. But something tells me we all know differently.

So, f
irst off, I’d like to say that I am proud. I am proud that this nation I am now part of, this nation of which I have dreamed to be part of all of my life, has finally come to the 3rd Millennium, as a true leader should have come. It has finally recognized who they are, and voted like-wise.

We are no longer a nation of “one size fits all”-s! We have never been, in fact, so it’s about time we admitted it. It took since the (“official”) discovery of this great land by the Old World till last night to realize it, it seemed! I believe that on November 4th of this year, we opened the doors wide to the world, instead of letting the world barely sneak in, like it has been doing for centuries. We will finally, hopefully, be not an island in the world, anymore, at least in the ideological sense.

This vote, and this victory, is past due, I think! But better late than never. Better now than 8 more years from now! Or 20, 30, 40 years from now. The fact that is so past due, I believe, makes it even more momentous! If it’s not momentous, then how would you explain the outpour of folks in the streets last night?! All around the country?! We’ve been waiting long and hard to recognize diversity of every kind as the glue that binds us, and we finally came to that realization last night: that diversity is good, and not a hindrance. Not something we need to or we can “fix”. But something we could feed from and grow from.

People of color will tell you just how long and how hard that journey’s been, but it’s finally here. It feels surreal! Last night, the streets of some cities felt like the ones in a suppressed nation that finally got to vote freely! Last night, the freedom we felt was not the one in our songs, and poetry books, the one we get to hear about at baseball games and home comings and President’s weekly addresses. It was not just words. It was real emotion. It was real, and raw, and it felt personal for each of us, and all of us! No Fourth of July celebration I have ever witnessed felt more sincere. More unifying, and more passionate.

I am not sure whether it’s the sad state of the nation at this time and the need to feel happy, or just the rush we all feel at the promise of something different, and something new, and something we can trust, but whatever it is, the true American freedom of choice first off, and of speech and manifestation came through last night. It was breathtaking. I thought, watching the crowds: “So, this is what it feels like, finally, to BE an American!” – I finally, after 10 years of living here, got it.

I was not here when Clinton or other presidents before him were elected, but something tells me it was not like this.

They’re very few and far between the moments I get fired up about politics. I can count them on the fingers from one hand alone. But I feel like this time it’s not just about politics. Not at all. I feel and believe, and not because CNN News tells me, but because it’s true in my heart, that this is about history, more than about politics. It’s about history just as much as the fall of the Berlin Wall was and the fall of Communism, and just as much as freeing Europe after the Wars, or invading Vietnam was. And it’s just an uplifting moment to be part of it, and witness it with your own eyes. I have been so fortunate to live such times.

In the mesh of the blurriness of too much news, and the insecurity of “what will be next”, you feel, and you breathe the wind of change and hope. And you don’t know quite what to do with it, but you drink it thirstily, like you would water from a fire hose after a long and hot, and wet-less day in the desert.

Like my dad always said: “This is not the end of hardships. It’s the beginning of them.” The work is yet to come. But I feel like with the right crew, the ship won’t sink! And I do feel for the first time in years like we’re getting close to at least a wise captain, who will hopefully lead by example and steer forward.

Call me a Dem, or even a Socialist, if you so choose, but I will forever look at the “W” years as the Dark Ages of the beginning of The Third Millennium for this country. In a lot of ways, I personally believe these 8 years should not have been allowed to be the first ones after year 2000 for this country. They’re not worthy of opening a century! … But then, there are such things as wrong choices.

But we should look forward, I think: learn from what we missed the first time, and value and cherish what we have achieved today. And perfect it! I think yesterday’s vote shows that we have learned. For now.

I had a dear friend who once asked me : “In Politics, when all is said and done, don’t you wish you were on the right side?!”. I can only hope we are on the right side, but of course, only time, and history, will prove that! For now, I know this election alone is a milestone in American and modern history, and that alone is the reason of my happiness. What comes next, if good, will just be the cherry on top! But just that we finally made this choice, as a nation, as a majority, shows that we have passed a threshold seen as almost insurmountable before now.

I am so happy to say this is my very first ever election where I had a say. This will be one of the best stories I can tell to my nieces and nephews: about my first vote! I am grateful I was allowed to have a say!

I thank the American people for “waking up", really, for finally maturing and for looking at their neighbor and looking at their kids and voting for them just as much as they vote for their own private beliefs. I congratulate them for finally getting past the shallowness of judging someone by looks and years and faith affiliations and really, really looking at the values they can bring to the country, and at the “content of one’s character”, and for leading their vote with that.

I thank them for finally acknowledging the potential of what they could be, rather than the stubborn belief that they already are and voting with that in mind, as well. Hopefully, from now on there is no turning back, just like there was no turning back to Communism or Nazism , either. It’s only up to us to see to that, and the hardest step, the first, is behind us.

There is so much more I want to say. But for now: thank God that being an American, at least for this one night, is cool once again .

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