Thursday, November 06, 2008

A sweet, bitter day

I am so happy. I have never felt more patriotic, more proud of this country and that I am a part of it, more enfranchised. I keep pinching myself to be sure I am awake. Did we really elect a black man president? We really did. Wow. By a landslide. Some comparisons, to put it in glorious perspective:

Obama is the first Democrat to take a majority of the popular vote since Jimmy Carter in 1976, and he received more white votes than any Democrat since Carter, besting both Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Obama won the the largest majority of any Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 among women, independents, moderates, African-Americans, Hispanics and young voters.

Yeah, baby. With such incredible charisma, intelligence, political savvy and skill it's going to be a good 8 years.

The happiness is of course tinged with sadness as Prop 8 squeaked out passage. The fight isn't over, and I know we will get there some day. I keep reminding myself that when I came out 20 years ago (wow, writing that makes me feel old) I never, ever even saw marriage on the civil rights landscape. It seemed like nothing more than a quixotic daydream to think that I might have a relationship officially recognized by the government. We have come a long, long way. In the big picture, this is a small setback.

This is so personal that it sure does smart, though. To bring it back around to joy, I take comfort in the words of our President-elect:

"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."


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