Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hope

It seems as though it's been a long time. A long time since we've had a voter turnout like yesterday. A long time since I've heard enthusiasm and cheer about an election. And, although I always vote, a long time since I've felt it.

Columnist Kathleen Parker wrote:
(read the full column here.)

But it helps on a day like today, when half the nation is angry and disappointed, that we are still the luckiest people on Earth. And this is still the greatest nation ever conceived by man.

Not by accident do these happy tidings endure.

We arrived at this historic moment through the sacrifices (and blood) of those who preceded us. Barack Obama’s ascendancy is testament to the audacity of the American dream — as well as to the enormous sufferings of men such as John McCain.

Though our political philosophies differ – and our dreams may be postponed – we have reason to be boastful today. Two men of extraordinary talents clashed not in the battlefield of strap-on bombs, but in the civilized arena of ideas.

We will survive this shifting of the guard. No one will draw a weapon on the Truman Balcony. No one will be kidnapped or beheaded as we slog through the difficult days ahead of necessary restraint. The rest of the world will continue to judge us at times harshly, while granting begrudging respect mingled with envy.


Perspective.

I think what she has to say is quite profound, and something for all of us to think about and remember. She has more to say, and I recommend reading the whole article. But what I wanted to comment on, what struck me, is the idea that our system works - we can have a major shift in ideas, a shift in power, and we can do it in a civilized manner, listening to the voice of the populace. That is an ideal worth recognizing and yes, worth fighting for.

The other thing that struck me was the enthusiasm of our sons - the hope in their voices as they talked of Obama. You know, right now, things are scary for all of us, but maybe even more so for our young adults. They wonder how they will make it, if they can stay in college, if there will be jobs for them, whether they will be able to buy a house, a car, start a family, live to their own ideals. They are just starting out, at a time when the future is bleak. Our older son has been pretty discouraged about the state of our world, and yesterday, when I heard the hope in his voice I was happy. Something that he did not think would or could happen did. It gives him hope.

And that leads me to my last thought. I recently commented that words move me - the quotations I read on the memorials in DC brought me near tears. Last night, listening to our eloquent President-elect, I was in tears again. His words were powerful, inspiring and brought hope. You could see it in the faces of the audience, and I could feel it in my heart. This morning, one of my running buddies said that Obama was just a politician, and that he was doing what politicians do - basically, feeding us a line. But you know what? It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter, because if Obama can inspire the American people, if he can give them hope, then I believe the American people will step up, pitch in, get to work and then we will see change. We need a leader who inspires. I think we've got one. I have hope.

11 comments:

Legs and Wings said...

Hope is worth claiming and worth the risk - every day.

Makita said...

I'm not a political or religious person - and I tend to shy away from these discussions. However, your post is compelling. Obama's words were moving. Like you, I have hope that we as a people will be compelled to make change happen.

Mother of Martineau Tribe said...

I...There is just too much...

Here one word...

AMEN!
:D

justrun said...

You are right on. Our forefathers were not stupid, they knew the system worked.

And as for it just being rhetoric according to some, that is fine if they believe that. If rhetoric can make me a millions of others have hope and want to be better Americans, then so be it.

Wes said...

We'll see if Obama is more than hype. It's easy to say change, change, change, but once you get to Washington, there are thousands of people with their own agendas. I personally feel that re-electing people from the same two parties will always result in the same ole same ole.

In the mean time, I will give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

Donald said...

Very well said. I'm praying that this guy is successful.

CoyoteGirl said...

Obama has a terribly tough job ahead of him, but he is a thoughtful and contemplative man who asks many questions and considers much before making decisions. I belive he'll help us get through this.

I don't believe that he's just feeding us a line. George Bush and his cohorts regularly relied on snappy catch phrases to rally people to their "causes". It's just not the same. I believe Obama speaks from the heart and head and doesn't just repeat some worn out line to get a rise out of the populace. In know only time will tell the truth for sure but this time I'm very optimistic. And it feels good to feel good about my government again.

robtherunner said...

I am with coyotegirl and believe that Obama speaks from the heart and truly believes he can provide the change that is needed. I don't believe he is the same ole politician even if he comes from two of the same ole parties. All we can do is speculate at the moment, but no one can deny the hope that he has instilled in many people all around the world already. I truly believe he will back up all the hype.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

I, too was incredibly moved Tuesday night. To tears as well. Hope that is inspired will lead to action. It will be a tough road with lots of uphills, rocks and roots. But hey, if we can tackle that on a Saturday morning, so can Obama! We'll be right there with him.
Jenny

Sunshine said...

Nobody gets to be editor of the Harvard Law Review by being just a politician.
Obama is intellegent, wise beyond his years, and of superior integrity.
I have hope too, Michelle.

Laura H said...

Yay for hope and change!! So glad it's come!!