Although I put off much of what I wanted to accomplish tonight in order to follow the election, I felt that I couldn't go to bed without writing down how I feel, right now, at this spectacular, amazing moment. About an hour and a half ago, CNN projected Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. I spent the first few minutes jumping up and down and squealing with joy, talking to my dad on the phone, and doing my newly patented "Not a Republican Country Anymore" dance. I laughed, twirled around, and let the exhilaration wash over me. We did it!!!
As I went on from the euphoric thrill of a winning campaign well done to the contented glow of knowing I helped, I settled back in to watch CNN and other channels to watch the speeches. As I watched, I thought about what this means for America. We have struggled for so long to achieve more equality among our citizens, and although we are still struggling, we took a great leap forward tonight. Not only because we have our first racial minority president, but because America has looked around at the failed policies of previous administrations and decided to make a change. The audacity of hope, indeed. We went for a candidate who supports people even though they may not be rich and powerful. His campaign thrived on the small donations from people like me, who don't have a lot, but wanted to be a part of something great. This was such a grass-roots movement.
I can't tell you all how thrilled I am at this moment. I felt that listening to Obama's acceptance speech was like listening to the "I have a dream" speech, but even more satisfying because I was a part of this movement. No, I can't say that I completely agree with all of his politics. But I can say that I believed in him and, in my own small way, helped make this happen. That is the miracle of this campaign. So many Americans have owernship over it. There have been so many volunteers and so much money donated that they just didn't know what to do with it all. And for the first time in eight long years, I really, honestly, feel hope for our nation. It seems odd when we're in the worst economic times of the past few generations, but it's true. It'll be hard, and I don't know that the new administrations won't repeat some of the same mistakes of the past. But I do know that this is a real mandate from the people. We're not as backward and selfish as the world thought. We're ready to stand up and make a change. Ready to support a candidate who wants to help people, create a society where we hold each other up, rather than compete in a race to the bottom.
This may all seem silly to those reading it, but I have a renewed sense of faith from this election. We're not as selfish and evil as I thought we were. I hope President Obama knows just what he means to Americans and DOES something with it. I hope he takes the power of all of the community organizers out there and has us work towards this generation's New Deal. But, whatever happens, I know that I want to remember today, and this election year, so that I can tell my children what it was like to be a part of something so great.