It was a pretty amazing night, last night. I'd like to sit here and bask in the happiness of actually making a difference, for just a little bit. And yet, I spent most of the night being petrified that someone in the humongous crowd was going to do something desperate, that I would watch a horrible history unfold instead of a triumphant one. That must say something about me, that I couldn't just let go of the fear for one of the most inspiring speeches I have ever heard, but it's where I am... I have had that kind of a history with elections (the whole thinking we've done it and then getting crushed like a bug), and it's been that kind of a year for me personally: the kind where the other shoe just keeps dropping, and landing on me. So, I'm going to cut myself some slack on the whole fear thing.
But it was a wonderful, wonderful thing, and I'm so glad that things have changed enough in this country to let us get to this point.
I've been looking over some of the ballot questions and am distressed to say that other changes in our society aren't occurring as fast as they should be - Arizona, California (maybe), Florida, all passed bans on gay marriage & Arkansas passed a ban on same sex couple adoption. This makes me crazy, and yet I remain hopeful, since today's a day where it is pretty obvious just how far we've come, that we'll get there eventually, that all people will be seen as equal, if we just keep doing the work.
- Oh, and an aside here: When Obama's speech began with a list of groups of people (gay, straight, white, Hispanic, etc) and actually included "disabled and non-disabled", I cried. Because just the acknowledgement that we exist is something that's been missing for a long time... And remind me to write a little bit about voting as a 'disabled' voter and wth it's so freaking complicated -
On the positive side, voters in Colorado refused to amend their constitution to change the definition of a person in such a way as to ban abortion & South Dakota voted against banning abortion all together; Michigan voted for stem cell research and medical marijuana; and my own state of Massachusetts kept its collective head by voting against repealing the income tax (you know, so we can have.. schools and roads and stuff) and decriminalized marijuana in small amounts, calling it the sensible marijuana policy.
So, all hail the sense - common and good - that enabled us to make changes. And let's keep on working for the changes yet to come.
Happy New President, America.