I am writing this post partially as a diary post; I want to be able to look back on what I was thinking when Barack Obama was elected President:
I started off the day by skipping two out of three of my classes to help organize and participate in our phone bank. We made over 6143 calls to voters all over the country. I personally made about 400 calls yesterday. When results started coming in, I was dazed and nervous. I peeked at exit polls and when the networks called Pennsylvania and New Hampshire right off the bat, I knew things were looking really good. When they called Ohio, I knew it was over. Enter champagne.
But somehow I didn’t feel quite comfortable partying like so many on campus did last night. Maybe this was because of Prop 8, maybe this was because I was drained from the day, but more than that, I didn’t feel right treating this like we had won the Superbowl. I’ve been frustrated with Obama’s “hope” theme–it all seems to passive and too much like a cult of personality; too many are acting like our country was saved yesterday. Now don’t get me wrong, we have a lot to celebrate, especially those of us who worked so hard, but more than anything, I felt like this was a time to sit back and reflect.
Also, another thing I’ve been thinking about is just how dramatically different it will be for the President not to be someone I have zero respect for. And not only will we not have a terrible President, but we have someone who seems like he will be an extraordinary President.
Next there are many reasons to be excited about the campaign Obama ran. I love the way he mobilized people and this generally fits into his ability to inspire and reinvigorate the Progressive Movement. Fitting in to all this, turnout was great.
So there are plenty of reasons to be excited.
Nevertheless, I stand by part of my initial feeling of reflection and sobriety. Our country has an incredible task ahead of itself and Obama is not the Messiah. So yes, the next few days are a time for celebration but our work really begins now.
Obama’s not waiting on change.