A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Great Moment!

We’ve done it! We as nation have finally done it! We’ve been able to hold an entire election this century that didn’t have to be referred to a bunch of lawyers for recounts, motions, counter-motions, suits, counter-suits and appeal after appeal.

I’m kidding! That wasn’t the greatest achievement from Tuesday’s election, although this will be the first time a lawyer-less election has happened in the 21st century. No, a great moment in American history happened when - at around 11:00pm on November 4, 2008 - Barack Obama was declared the first African American to win the White House. I am like many Americans who never dreamed that we would see this happen in our lifetimes. Yet, it has happened, and many of us are grateful that we were here to witness the great moment.

It seems incredible that this milestone was reached a mere forty years after the civil rights movement dominated American society, resulting in legislation to eliminate racism in everyday life. We have found that legislation isn’t enough to combat this scourge; racism is a struggle within the heart of all humanity. It is a struggle many of our fellow human beings will have to contend with for years to come. Bigotry and prejudice will outlive all of us, but for now we can take comfort in the fact that — because of Obama’s win — the words “all men are created equal” are more than just ink symbols on an ancient document.

The moment happened so quickly that I would’ve missed it if I had blinked. I followed the results all night, switching back and forth between the different news networks and a marathon of “House”. The medical drama kept me entertained; man does not live by mind-numbing political analysis alone.

When the great moment did happen, it came as a general declaration away from the red and blue graphic of the continental United States that all the networks used. There for a while, it looked like McCain was catching up; he went from 95 electoral votes to 142 on the maps, while Obama’s electoral count stalled at 207 for what seemed like an eternity. In the end, the western states of California, Oregon and Washington put him over the top.

There was cheering in Chicago’s Grant Park when the announcement was made. The mood in Phoenix, where John McCain waited for the results, was not as happy. McCain showed that he was a savvy political warrior with class to the end. His concession speech acknowledged a good fight, the historical significance of Obama’s election, and a call to his (disgruntled) supporters to rally behind the new leadership to move the country forward. McCain himself will probably rest for the time being, while his running mate, Sarah Palin, will retreat to her home state. I fear we have not heard the last of her.

The last few weeks have been quite amazing for my own life. If I had not had this heart surgery five weeks ago, I may not have been around to witness the Phillies winning the World Series a second time, and an African American elected to the White House within days of each other. Now I can look forward to the next James Bond film in another week, and shortly after that, spending Thanksgiving with my family. All in all, it has been a great time to be living in America, and I am very grateful for the chance to have seen it all happen for myself.



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