It sure felt different from 2008. Instead of the incredible high, there was just an enormous sense of relief. That word “relief” cropped up over and over in phone calls, emails from friends/family members today.
I’m a Democratic committeeperson and yesterday was a tough day at the polls—mainly because I could not sleep Monday night. I get caught up in worrying that I wouldn’t get enough sleep to handle a long day and that worry became a self-fulfilling prophecy. By the end of the day, I had a raging headache and could barely keep my eyes open.
The good news was that my neighbors voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Despite all those claims that liberals/progressives were disillusioned with the President, my neighbors were almost all voting enthusiastically for the President. So the vibes were good and that made the headache bearable.
When the networks called the race for Obama soon after 11:00 pm, I collapsed and had the soundest sleep I had had in a long time—no waking up in the middle of the night obsessing about the election.
There was so much at stake in this election. Obama has had real accomplishments-- e.g., health care, financial regulation, the end of DADT and support for marriage equality. It would be intolerable to see all this unravel.
But I think the intensity of my support for Obama is in some ways connected to my stage in life. I came of age in the 1960’s, a time of tremendous social possibility, but then spent my middle years in a time of reaction. There was bit of hope during the Clinton years, but then the dark ages returned with the George W. Bush years. Obama’s 2008 victory signaled the possibility of an era of progressive change. And we have certainly seen real movement in that direction.
I have hope (yes, a much ridiculed word) that we may see further change in the direction of fairer, less racist, less homophobic society. I so want to leave this beautiful planet on a note of hope.