Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Election Day!!

The results of the election leaves me emotional...I am still teary and almost out of breath. I don't think I realized how sad I was with the state of our country, then Obama won and I feel like the great sadness is lifted from my shoulders. My daughter called last night and said it well, Barack makes you want to do better with your life.
And what a great First Woman we have in Michelle Obama!!! I stand with her and say that for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country. Proud of something we did together in my adult lifetime. A neighbor who was watching the election results with us last night, said between tears, "I feel like flying an American flag for the first time in my life!"

I listened to Toni Morrison on the news this morning. What she had to say sent me searching on the web for her exact words, which lead me to a letter she wrote when she endorsed Barack Obama - I found the letter beautiful and wanted to reprint it here :

Dear Senator Obama,
This letter represents a first for me--a public endorsement of a Presidential candidate. I feel driven to let you know why I am writing it. One reason is it may help gather other supporters; another is that this is one of those singular moments that nations ignore at their peril. I will not rehearse the multiple crises facing us, but of one thing I am certain: this opportunity for a national evolution (even revolution) will not come again soon, and I am convinced you are the person to capture it.
May I describe to you my thoughts?
I have admired Senator Clinton for years. Her knowledge always seemed to me exhaustive; her negotiation of politics expert. However I am more compelled by the quality of mind (as far as I can measure it) of a candidate. I cared little for her gender as a source of my admiration, and the little I did care was based on the fact that no liberal woman has ever ruled in America. Only conservative or "new-centrist" ones are allowed into that realm. Nor do I care very much for your race[s]. I would not support you if that was all you had to offer or because it might make me "proud."
In thinking carefully about the strengths of the candidates, I stunned myself when I came to the following conclusion: that in addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates. That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it. Wisdom is a gift; you can't train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace--that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom.
When, I wondered, was the last time this country was guided by such a leader? Someone whose moral center was un-embargoed? Someone with courage instead of mere ambition? Someone who truly thinks of his country's citizens as "we," not "they"? Someone who understands what it will take to help America realize the virtues it fancies about itself, what it desperately needs to become in the world?
Our future is ripe, outrageously rich in its possibilities. Yet unleashing the glory of that future will require a difficult labor, and some may be so frightened of its birth they will refuse to abandon their nostalgia for the womb.
There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time.
Good luck to you and to us.
Toni Morrison

and this is what she said this morning - Diane Sawyer asked her "What did you learn about Americans last night?"

"I learned that in this campaign and the winning of the oval office, it's clear that race indeed was the yard stick, but what I learned was that in this country, race is not the measure, it's larger than that and it's not just a African American who won the presidency, it's This particular man, this here African American, and I think that the large number of people who were inspired by him, of all races, felt that, felt that particularity about him."

It's the start of a Good Day in America that has been a long time coming and that I had given up on ever seeing in my lifetime.

1 comment:

mamadalgas said...

It IS a good day in America. We can have hope in many ways! There seems to be a wave of optimism. Obama could be just the catalyst the world needs.