Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Give me an O! B! A! M! A!

I am doing a wild, maniacal jig right now! My heart is thumping. My arms are flailing. My whole being is atwitter. And yet, I am speechless. Awestruck. Star struck. Proud. Humbled. Energized. Inspired.

I would be remiss to not write about history in the making tonight. I will remember forever and always where I was when Barack Obama became the Democratic Party presidential nominee. I’ll have to embellish the story a bit for Bird and Deal, considering I am sitting on my ass, laptop burning my lap, on my leather couch that is hot and sticky on this humid June night, cat hair flurrying about with a fat cat purring loudly and getting in the way of each keystroke. I feel like I should at least swipe on some lipstick or something to mark the occasion. Mac Daddy and I have champagne ready to pop. Tiffany crystal glasses ready to toast. OK, so we don’t generally need much reason to drink champagne since we keep a few bottles stocked and chilled at all times. But tonight is different. In a word, MOMENTOUS. We’re stoked and extraordinarily proud tonight. For the first time in a very long time, oh say, like 8 years, we feel like our fellow citizens did not let us down.

It’s always so demoralizing in business to see the fat cats getting fatter. I see this in my consulting business everyday. It seems that the folks making strides and making money are all assholes. Obama represents a change of tide. The good guy finally prevailed. Integrity finally won. Fingers crossed that the honeymoon continues through November.

As my loyal readers know, I campaigned and volunteered my heart out for Obama in North Carolina. His overwhelming victory over Clinton was more than a notch in my belt. It was a wake up call that yelped louder than a horny rooster in spring. North Carolina, a traditionally conservative state that still struggles with race relations, raised its hand to vigorously support Barack Obama. I met many a Republican who changed her voter registration to vote in the Democratic primary just to cast a vote for Obama. I met many a first time voter, ranging in age from 17 to 79. North Carolina is actually poised to be a potential swing state. The fact that Obama has a real shot at carrying this red state speaks volumes to his appeal, message, and plan.

I am ready, willing, and able to start campaigning for November. My buddy Will, of video fame (No, not the Paris, Lindsay, Pamela kind of video!), and I have some ideas brewing. Stay tuned for more… My sleeves are rolled up; I’m ready to get to work!

It is rare that we actively live and acknowledge history as it is happening. Indeed it is a privilege. Sure, we all live history every single day, leaving our own DNA and footprint on something that is worthy of the history books. We generally stumble through life oblivious to the historical impact of our actions and decisions. Posterity is an outdated concept, stuff that our grandparents and great aunts are made of. We live at a lightning fast clip and wrongly think that only technology and celebrities make history. The next generation will be asking “Britney who?” while Barack Obama will be a political superstar, and this year’s race will still be the bar against which all other campaigns are measured.

Only in America.

This is why my parents moved us here, leaving their own home and country 39 years ago. This is what makes America unique, casteless (albeit in theory), the real land of opportunity. The melting pot is alive and boiling. We all have reason to be proud tonight. Take a moment to drink in the history. Savor the weight of what our country is experiencing. Consider this: 50 years ago Obama would have ridden on the back of the bus. Now he is running for leader of the free world, hyperbole fully intended.

Obama has inspired legions of citizens of all ilks to participate in the system, flawed as it might be. He has single handedly reintroduced pride, citizenship, and patriotism to what has become this sickly nation of ours. And now he is charged with healing the ailing Democratic Party…in just a few, short months. A tall order for an upstanding man. Obama makes me want to stand tall as a proud American again. Granted, I’m only five feet tall so I mean this entirely figuratively. After the last presidential election Mac Daddy and I went to Paris. Friends made us sandwich boards to wear that read, “I voted for John Kerry.” No need to be on the defensive now. Dang, it feels good to be part of a winning team! Paul Wellstone would be proud.

As the mother of biracial children and a minority myself, I feel a special kinship to Obama. Perhaps I am living vicariously through him since I cannot be President. He represents all that my boys can accomplish. I grew up with dolls that did not look like me. Role models that did not look like me. Storybooks replete with blond hair blue eyed girls. Magazines with nary a minority in sight. Brown girls like me weren’t smart or pretty or worthy. At least that’s what social messages would have led me to believe. The world is an entirely different place now. Bird and Deal will grow up in a society with more than two colors of the Crayola box. They will see a minority president lead our nation at a time that will mark the early years of their long-term memory. They will remember this man, this bastion of American-ness. They’ll have their Yes We Can! T-shirts as mementos of their small role in his success . Hopefully the anointing of Barack Obama will be the beginning of a long life of civic duty for Bird and Deal.

And yes, I am confident Obama will win in November. It’s his time. It’s our time.

Barack Obama, I salute you.
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Rebecca Hickman said...

I heard it from you first! Great blog, great politics.

ChefSara said...

Last night, as my husband and I were watching Obama's speech, I said "Do you realize we are watching history unfold?" On par with seeing the footage of the fall of the Berlin Wall...while not there in person, I will always remember where I was and my emotions around what was happening. And then this morning, I woke up with a renewed sense of optimism, an extra pep in my step (not east at 8 months pregnant), and a belief that we are *finally* going to turn this country around!

Lawyer Mama said...

I was so incredibly excited that night too. It *is* our time!