Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Momentous Day

Today I watched the election results come in - a stunning victory for Barack Obama! I had been teaching the novel Pride & Prejudice at the high school where I work in the mornings, and I had the computer set up in a corner. I had prepped the students, so they knew the background of the candidates, the issues, and what was at stake. They also knew that the magic number of electoral votes was 270. During class, the results were coming in, and I updated the stats in a corner of the blackboard every couple of minutes as soon as I saw them posted on CNN. When California kicked in with its magic 55, the class cheered. At 12:15, I was finished, dashed out of the school and made my way to the Brass Monkey, where Democrats Abroad (Taiwan Chapter) were celebrating. I saw a lot of friends there, and was caught up in the excitement with everyone else. After about half an hour, Obama spoke to the crowds in Chicago - his hometown.

I have to say, I was profoundly moved by what he said, and by the intense emotion of the crowd there.
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

To have a young president-elect of mixed-race, with a multi-cultural, international upbringing speak with such eloquence gives me a lot of hope. Obama's election doesn't reflect the past, it portends the future, a future of possibility, a future that my own mixed-race, multi-cultural, international daughter can thrive and be happy in. That's a future I can look forward to!

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