Being a white Jewish girl raised in an uber-liberal household, I’ve grown up to become a surprisingly more moderate woman than one would think.
I’ve never had Obamamania. I thought long and hard before choosing the candidate who would get my vote. I felt there was good news and bad news about both candidates and their philosophies. I rued the injustice of a two-party system and a media that bars all but the most flush candidates the opportunity to debate and garner coverage. In the end I made the choice I felt would be best for our country, and that’s that. No matter who won I would not be jumping for joy. There are too many challenges awaiting us, too many unknowns. We all know who won the election, but we have yet to see if we, my fellow Americans, wind up as winners.
Obama finds himself in an interesting position. Every incoming President is faced with the task of uniting the country, but it’s never been more important to do so. The country is facing such dire threats right now that even the staunchest conservatives I know are warily rooting for him to do well. That is so very different from past elections. and in my opinion this gives us a chance to get through these challenges and find a way to win. I so very much hope we do.
So, for me today is a day of hope, but it is not a victory celebration. Still, the little Jewish liberal girl inside me is thinking of those who marched on Selma, refused to sit in the back of the bus, were inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I’m thinking of the people who spoke up and risked their lives, and sometimes gave it. My heart is heavy and my eyes are wet when I think of what this day must mean to them, and their children and grandchildren. Knowing that when any American child talks about what they want to be when they grow up, and their parents tell them they can be anything they want to be they don’t just hope it or declare it; they mean it.
All of the rhetoric and entreaty and idealization is true. It is possible.
And that, my friends, is the first win of Obama’s presidency.