It's not because Obama is black that he won, it's because people of ALL races and backgrounds and ages and religion finally felt that THEIR voice was heard. It was not a black voice, it was a voice of NEW IDEAS. Most importantly, and this is really the biggest point, it was a POSITIVE and KIND voice. It's a voice that has clearly listened to both sides. A voice that commands quiet and thoughtful discourse. A voice that triggers a burning in your chest that makes you feel that this time, finally, something GOOD will happen for the rest of us schlubs, not just the people that have been paying for their policies to get passed.
Look. I live in the reddest county in Texas. I'm surrounded by people that will be taxed more by Obama's plan. And not to put too fine a point on it, eventually my husband and I will be hurt by it, too. But guess what? I want better schools. I don't want talk about how we need it, I want someone that LOVES education and educators to make it a priority. Obama and his wife know that they benefited wholly from their education (and their loving families.) They weren't legacies shuttled from school to school because the library at the university has their grandfather's name on it.
And there it is, right there: they aren't legacies. Barack Obama made it where he is right now because of hard work, because of his kind and thoughtful nature, and because of his intelligence and love for the American Dream.
The American Dream won last night, not a black man. WE won. And the beauty of him, and why those of us that love him do, is because he knows that. This isn't a strategic play on a chess board, this is a man that when you talk to him, he stops and listens, looking you in the eye. He's not thinking of how to spin what he's got planned to say, he's actually listening to you. Hell, he turned my husband from a card carrying RNC member to a stumper for his campaign based on four political conversations they had on flights from DC to Chicago.
I admired John McCain last night with his lovely and heartbreaking concession speech. No one can doubt that he loves his country. Hell, I even got choked up for Palin, a woman that I do not admire, but I do not hate, either. They love their country, and they thought they were the ones to help us, but we disagreed. And how shameful that the audience there marred McCain's beautiful speech with ugly booing and jeering; he was clearly offended by it. Please. Let us reach across party lines because here's the thing: it doesn't matter any more. Blue, red, liberal, conservative, right now we need each other. We need to hear what each other has to say in a civil manner. The old days of politics are going out the door. It's time for adults to talk rationally with one another, to calmly listen, and if needed, to say, "You were right, I was wrong."
Guys, it is time for this country to look at each other and be proud that no matter what the other believes, we are AMERICANS. We are IDEALISTS. That is what this beautiful place was founded on, and we've lost sight of it. Don't tell me we can't do it. I'll just smile, put my arm around you, and turn up the volume of the hundreds of thousands of first time voters (and not because they're 18, either) chanting:
YES WE CAN!
I am so proud to be an American. I always have been a nationalist, but now I can really hold my head high. A young, intelligent, thoughtful man is now our president. We're moving in a good direction. I hope you all come with us.