05 November 2008

Dazed & Confused (But Grateful) In The Land of the Free

The day after the election, and I am sitting in my car, watching the Star Spangled Banner flag fly in the breeze. It is an overcast day here at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore. The red, white and blue stands out nicely against a sky the color of old silver dollars. The flag moves slowly, liquid-like, matching the speed of my thoughts.

My guy won the election. Third try in the last three elections, and I finally backed the winner. FINALLY. I am confident I always voted for the right guy, it just didn't work out before. I thought I would be more excited, but I am tired. It was a long campaign, seeming endless, and I ended up caring more than I ever thought I would about politics. This time, there was a lot more at stake. I liked Al Gore and John Kerry, but Barack Obama actually woke me up. The last two elections I was voting more AGAINST George W. Bush rather than FOR either Gore and Kerry. Being extremely interested in politics is unique in my history as an adult. Maybe it was the way Barack Obama conducted his campaign. Maybe it was his composure, or his seeming reasonableness. Maybe it was simply that, after the travesties of the past eight years, the lies, the arrogance and contempt for the rule of law exhibited by the current administration, I was just worn out and sick. And when I am worn out and sick, I want someone to make me believe that I will get better. Listening to the President-elect during his acceptance speech, I felt like I could believe. As a semi-professional cynic, that was a revelation!

Barack Obama, and we as citizens of the United States, have serious work to do. Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman were correct in that the next POTUS would be tested early. My fear is that the sore losers, the narrow-minded, and the unreasonable elements (and don't pretend they are non-existent) in this country may be the ones to offer that early test. I have heard more than one person talk about assassination attempts (in a very broad way, not in a conspiratorial sense) and that scares the hell out me. To the doubters, the hard core right-wingers, neo-conservatives who don't believe Barack Obama is fit for the office, I say: suck it up and give him a chance. It would be hard for him to screw things up more than they already have been by Dubya and his cronies. Barack Obama is the next President of us all, not just the people who voted for him.

I don't believe that a Barack Obama administration will screw things up, though. For the first time in a long time I have hope and confidence. If I wasn't so tired, I'd get up and wave the flag a little, even if it was just for a minute. Instead, I'll be content for now to sit here watching the Star-Spangled Banner wave at me across the way. The colors look good to me. What a nice feeling, to not feel so sick anymore. I look forward to the recuperation.

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"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...