Did you feel that wave that felt like it was enveloping the world last night?
In the giddy aftermath of Obama’s acceptance speech it felt like as hard as the road forward would be for the United States anything was possible for the first time in a very long time. Now in the light of a fall morning of November I thought it would be interesting to look at what some of the people I read on a regular basis had to say about last night, today and all those tomorrows ahead of us.
The interesting thing is that for all the excitement and reborn hope there was also the knowledge that this isn’t going to be easy. There was the understanding that for all the hope that Obama made us feel we know that there will be failures; or at least missteps, along the way. Hope tempered with realism – what an interesting concept.
Here are some of the more interesting; and heartfelt, thoughts about the Obama victory that I read this morning over coffee.
What a night! Thank you America for giving us something to believe in for the first time in so, so long. Cheers rose up all over the city of New York tonight and socres of people, like these people at Columbus Circle, ran outside to dance in the streets. My whole city – and my country – is smiling. And, even if it turns out to be only for tonight, it seems that, indeed, yes we can!
= B.L. Ochman
I’ve never stayed up late to watch an election. I’ve never donated to a campaign before. I’ve never shed tears of joy when our new president walked on stage for the first time.
All that changed tonight. Godspeed, President Obama.
I guess that’s why this was bigger for me than I thought it would be. Like everyone else, I am dying for a leader we can believe in and get in line behind and follow. We’ve got one now.
We as a country seem to have regained our sanity.
We’ve put aside fear and cynicism and deceit and we’ve embraced hope and optimism and progress.
America is an amazing country, capable of amazing change.
I’ve always been a proud American, but today is a great day. Regardless of how the next four years go, it’s such an incredible step in the right direction for healing the ongoing race issues that have divided this country for so long. The month that I was born, riots littered the country, the Civil Rights Act was signed and Martin Luther King was put to rest.
It’s sad that it took 40 years, but it’s still an incredible day in America. It really is the first day in 40 years that this country has had a significant event that pushed racism into the gutter that it belongs. Regardless of what side of the aisle you’re from, it’s a great day to be an American.
– Douglas Karr
Yesterday was a historic day. We can all be proud as Americans. Today, we begin a new future. It’s time to come together. I am ready for a united United States.
What we witnessed last night and what we’re still feeling the aftershocks of this morning is, in a word, history.
An epochal groundswell that wiped away the old and ushered in the new.
A singular moment that, years from now, will be looked upon as the line that divided the past from the future.
Yesterday, “change” was merely a word; today, it’s something tangible — something you can feel in the air.
I was seriously impressed with what Obama had to say. He left no stone unturned and after he left the stage, I had this feeling of wanting to go out and kick some ass as an American to help get things back in order. Obama had one hell of a speech and it really messed with my emotions.
Tonight, walking home from a movie, I heard loud cheering from houses along the streets. I peered in and saw the elections on TV, Obama posters on the windows, and knew he won. I made a quick detour to the business school here in Queen’s, and the student lounge was packed with people watching President Obama giving his victory speech. I heard from a friend that earlier in class, laptops all around her were monitoring the presidential ticker counter.
And all this happening in Canada, for a president not even theirs, in a demographic not usually associated with politics.
– Daryl Tay (Canada)
I felt his victory speech was amazing. Obama shows great leadership when he talked about similarities instead of differences. Hope instead of fear. He is not trying to divide but to unite. He will face some of the most difficult problems any president could face. A financial crisis, 8 years of war and neglect of the home country. But somehow he will manage to get the United States back on track, restoring hope to those that lost it during the Bush administration. The evidence is already there. Just look at how he won this election.
– Alexander van Elsas (Netherlands)
So did the United States change last night? Maybe it has but as much as we might like to believe this the fact is that nothing has changed yet. Yes Barak Obama won the election to become the next President of the United States but that doesn’t change the fact that homes are still being foreclosed on, Wall Street is still making us all seasick and men and women are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It is true that hope for the American people has been reborn but the real impact of this election won’t hit the U.S.; and the world, until that day in January when Barack Obama puts his hand on the Bible and swears to uphold the American Constitution. That is when the totality of change will really make itself felt and I truly hope that the American people will be able to rise up to the momentous changes they can bring to both their own country and to the world with a leader like Obama.
That hope though is tempered with a realism of human nature and how deeply ingrain with the American psychy some things are. While you may have elected an African American to that high office you are also a country where children can be called n* lovers because they voted for Obama in a mock school vote. You are a country where religious intolerance is at an all time high and where doctors can be killed because of it.
I truly hope that Obama doesn’t become the JFK of our era because I don’t know if the American spirit could survive it now that it has hope. None of us can afford for that candle to be blown out again regardless of where we live.