Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Did you vote for him? Thank you." - random woman in the Victorian Market, Inverness, when she heard me speak.

I'm going to try and get through today without blubbering. My inner drama queen is loving this Obama obsession.

My mom sent an article to me today entitled "Suddenly, it may be cool to be an American again". Worth a read if you know any Americans abroad, to get a taste of how it is for us, sometimes. I sense that Obama's Everyman quality might make it worse for us, in the long run - people might feel even more compelled to discuss foreign policy decisions, since he is, perhaps, their President, too. But for now I will bask in the exceptional pride that I'm feeling for my country for the first time that I can remember. It's uncomfortable and awkward and I'm not really sure what to do with it.

After the decision was announced, and after McCain's speech, maybe 4am UK time?, my phone went nuts - messages from Slovenia, Wichita, London, Canada, Aberdeen, Lisbon, Nashville, LA - amazing. I was on facebook/gmail chat with a few folks, too - seems many of us were stuck at home watching at odd hours. Some weren't even American - friends in Aberdeen wrote at 5:21 am Happy new president! We're still up! Can we stay up all night? Yes we can! The sense of community made the moment that much more powerful. The revolution is online, I suppose, considering the role the Internet played in this election.

One interview with a group of 20-something black men struck me. One said that they had no excuses anymore - that young black men can't say "I didn't have a father". Neither did our President. CBS claims that 95% of the black vote went to Obama. That's huge. And that race did not play a role in the choices of 80% of white Americans. That's inspirational. This has sent a message to the world, and perhaps we're now redeemed, at least for a little while.

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