To the first day of the rest of our lives.

I want so badly to believe in President-elect Obama that it is a bit frightening.  My M.O. is to be cooly cynical, looking always for ulterior motive and reading greed and self-interest into everything that just about everyone says.

But try as I might, I could hear nothing but sincerity and hope in his acceptance speech last night.  I felt like a naive little schoolgirl, enamored by the handsome young principal promising a new school year filled with exciting projects, new library books and better cafeteria food.

It brought me back to my naive excitement the night Bill Clinton was first elected.  I had such high expectations for what he would be able to accomplish.  This time my enthusiasm is definitely tempered by experience, by my instinctual tendency to guard a heart broken too many times.

But I want so badly to believe.  The way he embraced not only his fans, but those who hadn’t voted for him, foreign dignitaries in their palaces and third-world viewers crowded around the tv.  He stood up and spoke for unity in the most powerful way I’ve ever seen.  I may have heard more poetic and profound words spoken by others in the past, but never such amazing words spoken to a global audience, never words addressed to each and every individual in that audience.

I have to say I gained an enormous amount of respect for McCain last night as well.  His speech was truly impressive for the way he too called for us all to come together and support Obama and each other as we move into this new phase of history.

Perhaps soon all my hopes and excitement will be crushed, maybe Obama will end up a conniving, lying politician like all the others, maybe my disillusionment hovers around the next corner, waiting in ambush to reopen old wounds.  But for today, and hopefully for a while to come, and maybe for the next four years, I can feel the amazing energy of this new direction and I want to continue to be inspired to participate in the vital work of reconstructing a society that has strayed so far from justice, stability and the security of a healthy interdependent community.

“Yes, we can!”


Filed under Politics

3 responses to “Welcome…

  1. stacybuckeye

    This matches my feelings exactly today. His speech was inspirational and at the very least I am so relieved that we have a President that tries to inspire hope instead of fear.

    As for McCain, I thought his speech was heartfelt, but I really wish the crowd hadn’t booed Obama.

    I feel good about the direction we are moving and I’m hoping President Obama will live up to his potential.

  2. Elena,

    I think we have no choice BUT to believe right now…what else can we do?

    I have heard so many people… newscasters… political analysts…comparing our present time to when Kennedy was elected…or to WWII when the nation had no choice but to band together, to rededicate ourselves to the common good, to pool our efforts, to take stock in what we have and what we need to fix…to act as ONE PEOPLE to exact the change that needs to be made. Obama has spoken to these things for the past 21 months and I, like you, desperately want to believe in the possibility of seeing this change come to fruition.

    Even more hopeful, I imagine a nation changed enough that we gradually become known as a gentler, more humble, more earnest group of people…all the while still being the nation that sets precedents and continues to strive for greatness. Perhaps that is going a bit far…but I certainly feel the impetus for that change happening in myself and have to wonder…does anyone else out there feel it too?

    Thank you for your lovely post this morning.

  3. “But I want so badly to believe.”

    That says it all right there.

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