Obviously I am overjoyed that Obama has won. His landslide victory in many ways redeems my country, and makes so many things possible. And the symbolism that his candidacy represents around the world is stunning. From my travels, I know how improbable his victory was seen around the world. For many, it was a given that the US was too conservative, and too racist to allow this to happen. I think in an instant we have redefined to the world what is possible from America and its citizens. I was also thrilled to see that in my native Indiana, a state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat since 1964, it looks like Obama has won (by a razor thin margin). Indiana was formerly the most reliably Republican state in the union, always being called within minutes of the polls closing. The fact that it has gone to Obama is representative of the sea change in American politics right now.
And the faces. To see the tears streaming down the faces of so many people, especially African Americans, in disbelief and joy, was especially moving. And my own tears, as it was finally announced that he had passed the threshold to win, that we had finally beaten back the monster of the past 8 years, and to see that redemption was possible for my country, and to know that I could go home and help rebuild.
My joy was tinged with bitterness, however upon seeing the results of California’s Prop 8. It appears that California voters have decided to write discrimination into our state constitution, branding me and other gay people as second class citizens, separate and unequal. And how very ironic and upsetting that by far the largest group (proportionally) opposed to our equality should be African Americans.
“Freedom for me, but not for thee…”
I guess my plan to move to New York at the end of the year has just been validated with one more reason.