By Colin Rule on November 5, 2008 at 11:25 am
All morning I've been receiving emails from my friends around the world congratulating me on the election of Barack Obama as the next President.
This truly is a wondrous moment in American history. To see that chart of past Presidents that Brian Williams was holding up last night, with 43 white faces, and to think the next face on that chart will be Obama's, is truly remarkable.
I was extremely moved last night watching the results roll in. Spontaneous celebrations erupted on the streets of American cities, from Atlanta to Philadelphia to San Francisco. Every time they showed Jesse Jackson with tears streaming down his face it put a lump in my throat.
I love thinking about how Frederick Douglass, or Booker T. Washington, or James Baldwin, or Ralph Ellison, or yes, Martin Luther King Jr. would have felt at that moment. We have so much farther to go, of course, but this is a huge milestone.
I've written about Obama on this blog since 2006, and my enthusiasm and support for him has only grown over that time. I know that once he is confronted with the messy job of governing the bloom will come off the rose... in a year I'm sure he will feel to most Americans like just another politician engaged in the sausage-making that is American politics. Supposedly Obama is worried about the impossible expectations his victory has triggered. But for today at least, I am very proud of my country, and I am filled with, yes, hope for the future.
From Obama's victory speech last night:
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer...
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date -- in this election -- at this defining moment -- change has come to America."
Paul November 7, 2008 at 1:55 pmPermalink
It was an incredible moment without question. I opened a bottle of champagne and celebrated with friends. But remember as Obama reminded us, we are at the foot of the mountain. Our journey is just beginning and a lot of work remains.
Matt November 6, 2008 at 1:32 pmPermalink
I am not American, i am a british Male.
However, i feel that the appointment of Obama as the President of the USA was one of the best decisions i have ever seen. Although he is the president of America, it is an appointment which will affect the wholre world and i believe it will affect us all in a positive manner.
Every speech he made came from the heart and i truely beleived every word he said and every promise he made throughout his campaign.
I feel sorry for John Macain but at the end of the day, the best man won.
I wish Obama great success in his reign of America and i am overjoyed his family and fellow supporters.
Stacy November 6, 2008 at 10:33 amPermalink
This is the first election that has brought tears to my eyes (coincidentally, it's the first time the person I've voted for has won). My alarm is set at 4am, but I had the hardest time tearing myself away from the computer screen where I was watching the results come in. I was just about to call it a night when the election was called. Glad I stayed up for that.
The next morning the first thing I did was check the news to make sure that nothing has changed.
This election has been so meaningful to me. I've discovered patriotism. For so many years I felt that I was considered "unAmerican." I've lived in a red state (Kentucky) and abroad (Japan).
I know that a new President can't solve all problems, but it's great that someone with his intellect and temperament is now representing me.
Truby November 11, 2008 at 9:06 amPermalink
I think that President Obama is the right person for the job. What we need now in America is unity and he brings that to the table.
As President Obama said,we have gotten ourselves in a ditch and first must stop digging. America is at its greatest when we all come together as a people.
milo November 11, 2008 at 8:05 amPermalink
I have to admit, this election really did grip me and I found myself starting to become interested in politics for the first time because I feel with Obama as President anything is possible and changes can be made by the people.
Prescott Hardcastle November 8, 2008 at 2:06 pmPermalink
I read at NYTimes.com:
"Whether it all heralds a new era of cooperation in Washington remains to be seen ... But for now, at least, it would seem to be part of an apparent rush to join what has emerged as a real moment in American history."
It's hard to recall a similar moment in my lifetime when things have changed as quickly and as profoundly, for so many Americans and people around the world.
We are living in a time of great historic significance. Obama is our man, and I wish him and all of us the best.
Christina Goldman November 6, 2008 at 9:01 amPermalink
Although I did not vote for Barack Obama, I could not help but be moved by his acceptance speech and the crowd's emotional reaction to his win, there in Grant Park in Chicago.
As I watched the tears stream down the faces of Rev. Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey, tears began to run down my cheeks, too. It is simply amazing what this man has accomplished; a feat that will be written about for years to come.
I am very excited about our country's future for the first time in a long time. It won't be easy, dealing with the deepening recession, financial crisis, the situation in Iraq, but I believe we will overcome all of the turmoil and crisis ahead of us because of the rebirth of hope that has been instilled in all of us, once again!
Colm Brannigan November 6, 2008 at 7:26 amPermalink
You must be proud that the beacon has been re-lit.
It will be wonderful to see America rekindle the spirit that led to wonderful things in the past.
A time of hope.
Yasir Khan November 5, 2008 at 10:56 pmPermalink
I am really happy to see positive change come to USA. It is just amazing to see the first African-American to take presidency after almost 200 years since USA came into existence.
I hope Obama is able to surpass all expectations.
Dana November 5, 2008 at 3:58 pmPermalink
I am not an American, I am a Black British young woman and the over whelming feeling of joy, that the American people have elected a Black man to become the most powerful man on the planet, is without doubt the most significant event in the lives of those of colour!
As a Black citizen of the world, the immense pride and natural high of waking up to this news is something that I rarely feel.
All over the news Black people are constantly shown as starving to death in Africa, drug pushers and addicts, murders and the like and today we get to sit at the top table and eat with knives and forks!
Yes I'm happy, happy for myself, my young daughter and everyone in the world, whatever colour they are!
Well done America! You done good!
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