Well, it’s the morning after and now it’s time to reflect on all that was and all that can be. The election is now over and we have elected Barack Obama to be our next President. There’s just so much to talk about, so many thing I want to say and express, some of it serious, some of it funny, some of it potentially inflammatory. The point, I suppose is that there is just too much in my mind right now, so I’ll try to touch briefly on many subjects—though, as you may already have suspected, I have trouble with being brief. I’ll do my best though.
After his concession speech, the first thing I said was: “I wonder what the election would have been like if that guy had been a part of it?” In defeat, McCain found the humility, integrity, eloquence and statesmanship that he always seemed to lack during the campaign. This is the John McCain that I’ve always known in the past. This is the man who I would have been completely comfortable voting for before his campaign started. He did this to himself. He allowed his campaign to become what it did. Still, Barack Obama’s win wasn’t the only reason I found myself being proud to be American last night. John McCain’s graciousness put a lump in my throat as well.
Anderson Cooper & Wolf Blitzer
Cooper: The number we’re looking at is 270, Wolf, what happens when we get there?
Wolf: [looking very confused] Ummm, we’ll report it Anderson.
Jon Stewart has nothing on this comedy team
It wasn’t only national pride that I was experiencing last night, there was a great bit of civic pride as well. Barack Obama is an adopted son of this city and he chose to address the nation from our very own Grant Park. A quarter million people went to go hear him speak and they did so peacefully, without incident. On a beautiful night, one of the most important nights in the history of our nation, the first black President stood before the beautiful backdrop of the incomparable skyline of our downtown area and began by saying, “Hello, Chicago!”
All night long, the crews from national news outlets were broadcasting live from Grant Park and the third largest city in our nation was the absolute focal point of the entire world. Chicago is fiercely proud of her own and President Elect Obama is one of us. You will be hard-pressed to find a city of people better than those you find here, and I am so proud to have been in the spotlight of the entire world for this history making night.
How you doin? No, seriously, I did a little research and found out that you have 2 kids and converted to Judaism for your second husband. If you ever want to switch back to Christianity, I’d be happy to be a daddy to your kids and to even put a few more buns in that oven.
Black & White
I hate giving my opinions on race sometimes, because people read what they want to read and the ignorant among you will pump your fists in agreement with me on this, but not in a healthy way.
What I have to say is this: You couldn’t have done it without us Black America. What I mean by that is that perhaps this is a time for reassessing what you think you know about your pasty co-inhabitants of this country. Obama didn’t play the so-called “race card.” He didn’t run as a black man, he ran as the best man for the job. And White America rallied to him and embraced him.
I’m not so naïve as to think that racism doesn’t exist. In fact, it was so evident in some of Sarah Palin’s hate speech and in some of the supporters of the McCain ticket that it is undeniably still a huge problem in our country. But, those racist bigots are not the majority of us.
Until today, the symbols of Black America have been the reverends, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They are ambulance chasers who never pass up a chance to point out any instance when the slightest injustice has been done to any black man, woman or child. The perception of these men among whites is that they are racist as well, against whites. Because these men are the symbols of Black America, and those symbols are racist, by extension, White America fears allowing any bit of the balance of power to slip their way.
With the election of Obama, a new kind of man is the symbol of Black America. A smart, well spoken man with strong character who has preached nothing but a message of unity, he wants to unite red and blue states, Republicans and Democrats and yes, white and black people.
The point of all of this is that the election of Obama offers both whites and blacks—and every other ethnicity for that matter, a chance to come together. I think that Obama is going to have a tough love for the black community that will both benefit Black America and resound with White America. It will be the kind of tough love that was advocated by Martin Luther King Jr. whose dream came back to life last night, and will be carried brightly into the future. In any event, we helped elect him. Perhaps we’re all not as racist as the reverends would have you believe?
Like your contemporary Campbell Brown, I’d like to say to you: How you doin? Sadly, you are also married with kids. What the hell? But seriously, if things don’t work out between Campbell and I, you should know that you are on deck young lady!
I’ve been finding white hairs in my goatee lately. Not a lot, just every once in a while, one pops up. I suppose I just want to say thanks for making white hair look hip and fresh. It really makes me worry a whole lot less about the inevitability that someday, these white hairs poking through my beard will come not single spies, but in battalions.
I wasn’t only watching CNN, I was switching back and forth between NBC and CNN, it’s just that NBC offered me much less to comment upon. One thing I can mention about the NBC coverage was Tom Brokaw’s toast to Tim Russert. I’ve always liked both Brokaw and Russert and Russert was sorely missed on this night.
They say you went “rogue” on John McCain. By that, they mean that when you figured out that he wasn’t going to win, you started using the spotlight to begin your own campaign for 2012. You’ve been fooled into thinking, by the racist, ignorant portion of our country that you have a chance to win in 2012, but what the Republican party is going to realize as they look back on what went wrong in this election is that you were a big part of the reason. Moderate Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike were all frightened by the prospect of you being a heartbeat away from the Presidency and while you may have galvanized the right wing, Christian conservative nut jobs, you lost more votes than you won.
The best description I’ve heard of the Palin-effect was that she was like a sugar rush. She brought a lot of life and energy to the campaign that just as quickly turned into a depressing malaise. When the repubs start figuring out how to take back the White House and congress from the Dems, they are going to realize that they have to start appealing more to the moderates and sorry toots, but moose-hunting pit bulls wearing lipstick need not apply.
Oprah, Will I Am & Spike Lee
Where the fuck was Denzel?
And to the People of the World
The United States of America is often self-described as a beacon on the hill. Perhaps we are a bit arrogant to think so, but then again, I think not. I often use this space to rail against the many problems we have in our country. It has allowed me to get in touch with people from all over the world and see our great nation through the eyes of the world around us.
Often, you have ridiculed the country I love so much and questioned how we could have ever elected George W. Bush not once, but twice. You have, at times, looked upon us with disdain and when it’s been so, I’ve always felt attacked.
There have been times that I have come to resent the world around me because though I may rail against our nation at times, I have never stopped believing that we are the greatest nation on the face of this earth and the disdain that I’ve felt from around the world has at times felt like it was mixed with a bit of glee over the state we Americans have put ourselves in.
Then, I noticed the reaction of the world to our election of Barack Obama. I noticed the pride the world took in what we did. I noticed the love and support we received from the world around us. I noticed how much our neighbors in the world truly cared about who we elected and how desperately they wanted Obama to win.
It was then that I realized that perhaps there is no reason to think that the beacon on the hill is an arrogant view of ourselves. We are the United States of America and the world is watching. When we stumble, the ripple of that stumble permeates throughout the world. When we fall, even more so. But when we shine, we are that beacon for the entire world to see, and our pride is theirs to share in, our success is theirs to enjoy, our triumphs are theirs to celebrate because we are that beacon on the hill. Perhaps though, we should look at the world around us and see that we are not the only beacon. We should see that there are many beacons on many hills and we should learn to take pride, enjoy successes and celebrate triumphs with them, as they so fervently do with us.