Wednesday, November 05, 2008
yes. we. did.

I cast my first Presidential vote in 2000. As a young first-time voter, voting absentee from my college apartment, I remember not being particularly enamored with any of my choices, yet excited to finally be able to be a part of the process. I remember that election night quite vividly. Since the race was considerably close, my roommate and I stayed up far later than usual to monitor the results. When it was eventually called for Gore, my chosen candidate, I wasn't exactly jumping out of my skin with excitement, but I was satisfied and felt comfortable in heading to bed.

That next morning was one of the most surreal moments of my life. Somehow, everything had changed while I was sleeping, and for the next several days I was inundated with news of Florida, hanging chads, and recounts. And just like that, the election was lost.

But if the Presidential election of 2000 left me feeling slightly jaded and with my faith in the process more than a little shaken, the election of 2004 left me absolutely devastated. With all that had happened in the election of 2000 as well as all that had occurred in the four years since, it seemed impossible that the same controversies could be rearing their ugly heads all over again. The morning after that election, I woke feeling helpless, frustrated, and frankly quite skeptical in the ultimate judgment and wisdom of our country.

With these previous elections standing so clear in my memory, I guess I can see why so many Obama supporters remained so cautious for so long. We Democrats had been badly burned not once but twice, and so it's understandable why, and regardless of the polls, so many chose to protect themselves with careful skepticism. And though I suppose I should have been one of the skeptics, I truly never was. For weeks, I'd been predicting a landslide, despite a hesitancy amongst my peers that I could most certainly understand. Perhaps I should have taken more care to protect myself in case of a third disappointment, but I just couldn't bring myself to mute the excitement, confidence and, yes, hope that this particular candidate has instilled in me.

As I type this, Obama has earned 338 electoral votes to McCain's 155. Somehow, the country that elected George W. Bush not once, but twice, has just overwhelmingly selected Barack Obama for President. Unlike the previous two, this election is beyond dispute, and no one can take it away from us.

Of course I'm happy that my candidate has won, but - more importantly - I'm happier that my faith in the process and in my country has been restored. Clearly much work lies ahead, but I'm heading to bed tonight confident that we now have the leadership necessary to accomplish those tasks, and comfortable that when I wake, all will be well.

I am inspired. I am hopeful. I am incredibly relieved.

Yes. We. Did.


2 Comments:

Blogger Carrie said...

The results are still as awesome today as they were last night. I love today.

Blogger Daniel said...

I have to admit, the last two elections left me feeling very defeated. How could the same buffoon get into office twice, once by obviously cheating, and the second time because all the billy bobs voted, and possible voter fraud. This is America. Things like that are not supposed to happen. I was very leary that it would happen again. The one good thing that came of it, was this election, and the ongoing disintigration of the rebublican party. Long live the good guys. A big thank you to everyone who volunteered, gave money, or convinced a friend.

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