Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Palpable Relief

Obama is the President-Elect.

This morning, I woke up with the most profound sense of peace and hope. Throughout the day, I've chatted with friends and perused many blogs, and I find it astounding that:
  • this election has people in an ecstatic tizzy worldwide
  • I am not the only one who woke up feeling like "everything's gonna be all right now"
His speech last night was so inspiring that it gave me goosebumps and THAT does not happen very often. I get the feeling that this man will lead the nation with an attitude of justice and fairness that we haven't seen in a long time. He listens. He thinks for himself. And I feel that he will truly listen to the American public and make decisions for the common, greater good—that for the first time, a President will make a habit of setting aside personal biases to do what is best for ALL.

If I can see this, why can't others? I received a disturbing email rant from someone I've known for a very long time. Apparently, she's now a Republican—I never would have guessed. She is as Caucasian as they come. Her husband is Hispanic, and she has in-laws that comprise the ethnic rainbow. I guess I find it perplexing that Obama didn't get her vote. But what troubles me most is the vicious level of venom and fear that is being flung by the "losing" side. As much as we are celebrating, they are not just disappointed, they are downright freaked out. Big time. I also sadly unsubscribed from one blog because of a particularly venomous rant that accused Americans (the blogger is overseas) of hanging themselves with this choice of President, and referred to the American public (of which I am a member) as having become over the last nine years "fatter, dumber, more violent, and lately, poorer".

OK, whoa there. That's me and my friends you're talking about.

I don't know much about politics, just enough to be dangerous. But from what I know, Republicans seem to be more conservative in nature. They adhere to the tried-and-true, following well-established "protocol" in all things. They're more conservative in their religious and moral beliefs. Democrats appear to be the opposite. More liberal, more open-minded, more capable of considering alternate perspectives and ideologies. They are willing to take a few risks to make things better.

People, it doesn't matter to me what side you choose. But the people have spoken, and the majority of us want Obama in the White House. Can we at least respect the outcome and the people involved? The mudslinging should have ended with the campaign's end.

When we were getting "fatter, dumber, more violent, and lately, poorer", who was in charge?

A Republican. For eight years.

Look. We tried out Bush for four years. Then the shinola hit the fan. Then election time came around again in 2004, and we had a choice to make. I'll admit I was wavering. One newsman said that in times of economic uncertainty, voters tend to lean towards more conservative candidates. Hence, Bush won again over Kerry. I'll admit I was a bit afraid of Kerry, because he was proposing big changes, doing things differently than they'd ever been done before, and taking risks. I, like many other nervous Americans, didn't feel safe allowing risks to be taken so soon after 9-11. I leaned conservative, as did the majority. (Yes. Blame me. I'm responsible for this mess, LOL!)

Personally, I think we learned our lesson.

A wise man often says, "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got". We re-elected Bush in '04. And what did we get? More of what we'd already gotten, and look where it's gotten us. There used to be three classes: wealthy, middle, and poor. In eight years, we've lost the middle class; it has been absorbed mostly into poor.

This needs to change. The middle classes, from lower to upper, need to be re-established so that there is a graduated hierarchy of success again, so that there is a ladder to climb. Once upon a time, the middle class had three options: stay comfortably in the middle; take action to move up; or, though most wouldn't consciously choose this, move down a rung or two. It was possible to ascend level by level to as high as one wished to go. Back then, having a college degree practically guaranteed protection from insufferable things such as foreclosures, layoffs, not being able to fill the gas tank, having no retirement funds. Cold comfort to the engineer with the PhD who is ringing up tires at Sears after his company folded.

Right now, there are the wealthy on one side, and the rest of us on the other, with an enormous unbridgeable gap between us caused by the economic crisis, the housing market disaster, the jobless rate. Those who are not wealthy have nowhere to go. There is no gradual "up" anymore. Redistribution has to happen to rebuild the gradient class scale.

If McPalin had won, what would we have gotten? Even more of the same. Possibly worse.

It was time for something completely different. I don't care what flavor you are, if you think you can run this country a better way by taking risks and thinking outside the box, then PLEASE. Do so.

This country NEEDS change, needs to be shaken up a little, and new philosophies need to take hold. To anyone who thinks we're Effed because Obama won, all I can say is, how could we be? We are already Effed. We couldn't possibly be more Effed as a country. And we got that way by continuing to do things exactly as they'd been done before! Hello! McFly?

I'm not really sure what the problem is. Radical change makes perfect sense to me. In fact, it seems to be our last resort—

Help us, Obama Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope.

If it wasn't working as it was, why keep doing it that way?

Yesterday, I voted for change. And change won.



At 9:25 PM, November 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hope this change doesn't cause my husband to have to close his business when the tax increases start hitting.

At 10:54 PM, November 05, 2008, Blogger Brena said...

Amen!!! I personally am excited for the next 4 years.

But the hatred that is coming out is amazing... didn't they see this coming? He's been ahead in the polls for almost 2 months now but some people seem shocked. We actually had a girl go crazy when the states were being called... she called Obama the new "Hitler". WTH???

At 11:03 PM, November 05, 2008, Anonymous tiennie said...

I am very excited today!

I never get the hater thing. I'm not the nicest person and I get angry and upset but I will try to never be vicious to another person. I don't understand the vitriol.

At 11:43 PM, November 05, 2008, Anonymous Erin said...

*clap clap clap*

Well said. I look at it this way; we were all given our right to vote as citizens of this country. All 40 bazillion of us that voted yesterday did what we could do, we did our part. In every instant of voting for anything - whether it's a president or a cool sock pattern - somebody is going to lose. Not both people can win. It sucks, but it's not one of those games where EVERYBODY gets a trophy just for participating.

I've heard a lot of awful things from people today (I'm in Arizona, a Red state), either customers at work or read a few things online (which is easier to ignore with that red X up there). Many of these things were horrid and uncalled for. If the outcome had been different, do they think that the other side would be so awful to the the other guy? I don't know about everybody else, but I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't be so ready to dig my grave or burry myself in a shelter with canned spam because I'm convinced that this country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Dear People: We're already in that handbasket. There's 2 options. Keep going the direction we were heading, or try to jump the out of the damn thing. I for one, am jumping out. I'm going to knit myself a parachute. So there :P

At 11:22 AM, November 06, 2008, Anonymous Stick said...

In response to "anonymous" who is worried about her husband's business' taxes going up. And to everyone who thinks Obama is going to raise taxes...

Here's the deal. It wouldn't matter who won - EVERYONE is going to be paying more in taxes. You, me, and most of the next few generations.

People! We owe TEN TRILLION DOLLARS. I don't even know how to write that in numbers. TEN TRILLION. If there is one person out there with even an ounce of logic, he/she will understand that none of us is getting of off easy.

Even if some of us get official income tax breaks, we'll all be paying more in other ways. All of us. McCain would have had to do the same thing. It what you do when you're in debt, you pay it back.

At 6:51 PM, November 09, 2008, Blogger Lori Skoog said...

Another great are definately on my wave length. Some of the people who did not vote for Obama are so nasty I can't stand it. By the way, the tax increase in that bracket (I believe) goes from 34 to 39 per cent. Maybe Joe the Plumber can help out anonymous. I have also read someone who brought up Hitler. Please!!!!

Lori Skoog


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