Climbing over the walls of narrow vision into the pool of collective openness

Lyon Keating:

November 6, 2008

Wow, Blam, Splash, Shhyeah, Holy Toledo, Hot Dog!!!!….These are just some of the random sounds and thoughts that have been constantly surging around in my noggin.  What feelings of utter joyous jubilation I’ve felt in the last days since Obama has been elected.  I don’t know this feeling, it is foreign to me and I want to remember it forever!

I have purposely not read any emails, newspapers, watched little tv because I didn’t want to be influenced by any one feeling but really try to sort out these emotions in my head.  I didn’t write right after the election because it just would have been a ten page rant about all the most awesome feelings I was feeling and would have contained little organization.  Hopefully, given the few days I’ve had to think about it I won’t just be rambling but I have never felt more passionate about trying to make sense of my thoughts on this here electronic screen.

Never in my adult life have I related so much to being American.  In the last eight years, I’ve been told I wasn’t American if I didn’t support the Patriot Act, War on Terror, Iraq War, Bush, etc.  I felt apart from my own country, my own community and was always paranoid as to what that might mean for people like me who hold vastly different values than what was pushed for the last eight years.  Alas!  So glad I won’t have to move to Canada with the election of John Mccain because that was what I was seriously considering although I really probably wouldn’t have done it, but maybe.  America has changed completely in the span of one day and right up there with the most it’s ever changed in history.  Our eyes went from sleepily shut to nightmarishly awake.  Our minds climbed over the walls of narrow vision into a pool of collective openness.  I know Obama doesn’t have a magic wand, although it seems like he does sometimes, and he won’t change things instantly but we have definitely landed on park place and boardwalk and are looking to cash in with hotels!

The one defining moment I’ll remember the most about election night was weirdly enough John Mccain’s concession speech.  Not that it hasn’t already been obvious about what kind of people vote for Mccain vs. what kind of people vote for Obama but it reached a new level at this moment.  The first time Mccain mentioned Obama’s name and acknowledged that he was looking forward to working under Obama a roar of boos swept over the crowd.  It was eerie to hear these boos and also to know that if John Mccain wanted to he could prolong this campaign and basically start a civil war with this undying support he has.  Such a fine line is treaded every time two mammoth political opponents finish an election.  It was sure nice to know that for this round the party of closed vision, hate slinging views, the do anything to get elected party did not finish on top.  Old fearful statements such as yelling communism, socialism did not hold up.  Many younger people don’t even know what those statements mean or the fear associated with them.  Socialism isn’t something that people fear anymore, the Cold War seems so long ago and since it really isn’t taught in schools the fear of Communism has died with the younger generation.  And as we progress towards the future, Socialism is something that people might want to try to finagle to see if it can benefit our society more.  It sure has worked with other countries in the world, and maybe I don’t know this might be a long shot but maybe, just maybe a more perfect government is one that uses components of Capitalism and Socialism?!  What a concept.  Life is in shades of grey not black and white?  So glad the days of your either with us or against are almost completely behind us.  They will not be missed.

The most rewarding aspect of this whole election is the amount of change I feel Obama has brought to this country in a political and social sense.  Although I don’t completely disagree with everything Republicans spout when it comes to certain policys one thing I do despise them for is the fear tactics they try to throw on people to get themselves elected.  It is disgusting how much shameful arguments were brought up and thrown at Obama in this election that tried to distract voters from voting for the candidate that was going to help the most people.  How can republicans sleep at night knowing they’re just making shit up to cause fear in people.  Instead of talking about their own policies and how they will benefit people it was apparent they could not.  Instead they tried to incite as much fear in people as possible to try to keep them from voting Democrat.  Even though this can be claimed as a survival of the fittest strategy to get elected it is 100% wrong and yes I know Democrats do it too but they usually did it out of defense and they definitely didn’t base their whole campaign on it.  With the election of Obama, hopefully that whole tactic has been shattered and the whole political spectrum will move more left or at least remove the hateful campaigns run on obtaining votes out of creating fear.  The Republicans are completely dismantled and they need to come up with something big and new to try be competitive in the future.  The tactics used in this campaign are seeing their last days and they won’t win elections anymore in the future.  The Republicans will be forced to cater to peoples needs more because of this and maybe bring about more real leadership based on character, open mindedness, re-examinng ideals vs. manipulation, secretive workings, and stubborn ideals.  Obama possesses the skills to be a game changer and completely bring about a new political environment and social environment in the U.S.

Phew!!!  Thank god we scaled over this corruption hurdle.  I can’t even begin to think about the consequences of having someone like Mccain and then possibly PALIN running around controlling things.  It’s really unnerving to feel that we were that close to tumbling down as a country and having the world despise us even more for being lost in our own unwavering ideals.  It is hopeful to know that in a landslide Obama won in the electoral college, even though the popular vote was still roughtly 50/50.  This just goes to show that Obama is still being tested and has much more to prove.  If he continues to do a great job those numbers will only grow and grow, however, I have reason to think that those numbers will only keep growing as the years pass by.  Mccain still has strong support in areas like the deep South, ironically, people that would have been helped most by Obama and not Mccain.  Uneducated, unenlightened ways of thinking is probably one of the reasons for this but I think as time goes on this will change.  The demographics of the U.S. are dramatically changing.  I have family in North Carolina and upon visiting them have seen first hand the massive population changes that are occurring.  It is too expensive for family’s from places like New York, California, typically liberal minded places, to live where their from.  They instead move in massive numbers to other parts of the country bringing their enlightened ideas with them and can change the face of politics in that state.  In places like California, New York, etc. people realize that gays kissing isn’t gross because it can represent love just in the same way as two heterosexual couples.  They see that minorities can perform exactly the same as whites, they see that Christianity is one of the many pathways through life.  It’s not the South’s fault for feeling these things, it’s all they know, but it is hopeful that these people that are moving all around the country are exposing people to new ways of going about life that will create a more harmonious relationship in the future.  The change will have to come through interacting with these new populations and getting children used to these new ways of thinking that are far away from hate and discriminatory thinking.

Speaking of kids.  This last week I’ve been subbing in Kindergarten classrooms and it’s been so nice to hear kids of all colors utter the name Obama with excitement.  I mean, I know they don’t even know what they’re saying and just spouting whatever their parents are saying but the fact that they will grow up used to a black president is HUGE.  Not only will it give minorities more hope that they can really achieve the same things as whites but it will also give white kids the benefit of seeing a minority as president.  All kids will grow up knowing this is normal and that is really a beautiful thing and single handedly shows our culture has come a long way.  Relations between all cultures will have to improve and everyone can sleep at night knowing a little more that somebody is working for them in their government.

As the election was coming to an end I was hoping that they would be a clear pathway of blue across America.  Wasn’t the case but almost.  A few more states need to come around but when that happens that will be another defining moment in America political history.  Imagine driving across the country, all 3000 or so miles of it, and knowing people generally feel the same about you as you do about them no matter where you’re from or what you look like.  Being judged by the content of your character and not the color of your skin or your sexual preference just went all in and doubled up their winnings with this election.  Obama has already brought an incredible amount of change and he hasn’t even served one day as the president yet, but the most important thing to remember is something Obama has reminded us time and time again.  He hasn’t brought change, he has just organized himself and the political system in such a way that he tapped into what we all wanted.  The change has come from all us.  Whether we are teachers, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, business associates, athletes, waiters, hair stylists, camp counselors, photographers, farmers, etc. we can all look within ourselves and make the changes to create a much more loving, cohesive, equality based world.  Change starts within yourself and how many people you want to affect with it is up to you and not up to our political leaders.  This election showed the power once again of what happens when people push for what they believe in rather than remaining apathetic, uninterested, and think they have no affect on the world.  Wait working together works? Yep!

I hope that as time passes and the excitement from this election dwindle down people will always remember what brought them together at this time in history.  What happened in your life that was positive from this experience and how can you remember that for the rest of your life when times are not as hopeful or happy?  The torch has been passed to a new way of thinking, a more positive one, one that will create unity, and I’m so happy to be apart of the future of this country.  This election has inspired me to become a better person as it seems it has millions around me and I can’t imagine how nothing but improvements can come from it.  At this moment, we have the ability more than ever to be in control within ourselves to make the positive change we want that can affect others in a peaceful way and this is a wonderful feeling!

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