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What a night that was.  We all watched a lot of news, drank a lot of beer and screamed our lungs out right around 11 pm.  But, since everyone's experience was slightly different, we've decided to all contribute to this, the Steve's Word Election wrap up.  Please to enjoy.

Tim Spellman:

Wow, there's so much being said out there about how important and historic this election I'm not really sure what I can add to the mix. First, I'm a little bummed that I don't have to move to Denmark now. Just kidding. I suppose the main thing for me is that the election of Barack Obama is the restoration of the American Dream. We grow up being taught that this country is a nation where any person can come here and find success and freedom. That it was a nation founded by men with the most noble ideas and a belief that a nation built upon Laws will produce the best of Man. We learned that we are a beacon of hope for the rest of the world and that we will come to its rescue in the most dire of circumstances. Yet at the same time we're being taught all this, we learn that our country was built on the backs of slaves, the displacement of millions of natives, poverty and inequality still infects our land, and we are still deeply divided. crowd.JPGWe grapple with this dichotomy of knowing that the United States offers the absolute best and worst of what Man is capable of. In the last 8 years, we have only seen the worst of America and its people. A country ruled by fear and division. A country full of dogmatics who refuse to acknowledge science and deny global warming. A country where the richest got richer while our roads and bridges collapsed. A place where we were lied to and led into an unnecessary war under the banner of "freedom". When once the world looked to us as the moral standard, we now spy on our own citizens, torture our enemies, and our leader rules behind a cloak of secrecy. That same leader, the man that represents us to the rest of world, can barely form a coherent sentence, does not have a firm grasp on all the issues, and his arrogance stirred hatred for all of us around the world.

Its_OverBut last night, we elected Barack Obama. As we watched Obama's acceptance speech, from Jeff and Mavi's Bed-Stuy apartment, tears welled in our eyes. Tears of joy that I can't recall ever having before in my entire life. The joy was immeasurable and could not be contained because it was the first time that I've seen the promise of America delivered. Obviously, Obama represents the greatest achievement in Civil Rights in this country, but I'll return to that in a moment. Not only is his election a milestone for race relations in this country but he was the right man for the job at the right time. He was exactly what this country needed. Can you imagine if we were faced with a McCain vs Kerry election? Or McCain vs Hilary? Obama inspired and uplifted all of us with a message of hope and unity. Millions of us had given up completely on the political process and lost faith in our country's ability to elect the most qualified candidates. He restored the promise of a meritocracy. That, unlike Bush and McCain, who had been handed everything they ever achieved, we elected a man that came from a modest and loving home and worked his tail off to the highest office in the land. He demonstrated that he had an intellectual grasp on every topic. And if he was a little shaky on something he has the curiosity to find out what's going on. Unlike our current President who happily admitted to not following the news. Obama's calmness and moral strength also gives us comfort. To know that he will not saber-rattle this country into another unnecessary calamity and that he will be able to react responsibly to catastrophes like 9/11 and Katrina. He will be open and honest with us in dark times. When things are going bad, he'll let us know and that's what I want out of a President. Honesty.

But let's get back to race for a moment. His victory is has shown us, that even though we have a long way to go, we are on our way to overcoming our past and divisions. I called my brother who has three young children. I told him that I was jealous of his kids because they're going to get to grow up in a world where Barack Obama is their president. He said he and his wife were trying to explain to the kids the significance of his nomination in terms of race and the kids just weren't getting it. All they knew was that he was the right man for the job, so what's the big deal? That is beautiful. That's what this country can be.

balloon.JPGJeff Larson:

GOBAMA!  YES WE CAN!  That's what I got from the proceedings last night.  I don't think I've ever expeienced emotions like what I felt last night during Obama's acceptance speech and the hours just thereafter.  It felt like a corny movie but it was real --unbeleivably and undeniably real.  Outside our aprtment the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighboorhood exploded with car horns, music and joyous exclamation.  When we walked out into the street, it was the only time I've ever felt totally welcome to be there.  That I was white and obviously not from New York did not seem to matter.  We were all the same to one another.  I'll remember it for the rest of my life.

I was simulteously surprised by the graciousness and sincerity(?) of McCain's concession speech and alarmed by the hostility of the crowd. I hope he does more than just talk pretty for one night and instead works to try and calm some of the more militant of his supporters.

My only disappointments from last night come from the congressional elections.  While I'm proud the for the first time in my life both Senators from my home state of Colorado will be Democrats, I was shocked to see how poorly Dems did overall.  I knew races like Al Franken's in Minnesota would be close (too close to call as of now) but I cannot understand how Alaska could elect Ted Stevens, a man who was convicted as recently as this October of felony corruption charges.

Now its time to govern.  We progressives have the mandate and it's time now to focus on isssues and keep what pressure we can on our elected officials to carry through with their promises.

Jojo Timmins:

All this election hoopla's brought a whole lotta attention to Colorado, and I've got mixed feelings about that. It's good that people wanna be here 'n take my picture and all that, but I had to wait for 20 minutes to get one mile down East Colfax last week, missing my appointment with Dr. Shit-for-Brains down on Bannock St. as a result. But the way I look at it, if you want my "two cents," and I know you do, is - look, I been using the same prescription dick cream for nearly 8 years now. I never liked it much, I thought it was too expensive and it never felt quite right. It was always smearing onto my clothes and ruining my fancy imported leather pants, and to be honest I don't think the goddamn stuff even worked! So if you can weave your way through my linguistic labyrinth, I'll say that I support change and progress just like I support getting a new kind of prescription dick cream - one that works, helps to heal, knows what it's doing, and doesn't smell bad.

My name is Jojo Timmins and I support this message -- New Prescription Dick Cream '08.

Nate Green:

You probably don't know this about me, but I'm Canadian.  I'm not really Canadian, it was a horrible twist of fate and premature birth that stuck me with this awful moniker, and I've managed to shake a lot of the tell-tale signs: I hate hockey, am able to properly pronounce the word "about," and never ever drink Molson.  bud.JPGBut, I still don't vote in this country and that hurt me something awful yesterday.  Instead of being able to take part in an incredible moment in history, instead of being a part of the referendum on status quo cronyism and old white man politics.  No, I couldn't really be a part, no matter how much I clapped and screamed last night.  And in truth, I've never felt more empty.  It really makes me wonder about all the people who threw away their chance to be a part of this moment, to actively take part in it.  I can honestly think of no worse personal disservice than the person who was too frustrated by some looney sense of perfection to cast a vote for him, or too frustrated by a long line to engage in an act I wish I could have made.

However, all was not lost for me yesterday.  Since I didn't want to get totally left out of everything, I did what I could to make my day a close replica of what everyone else was doing.  So I too waited in a really long line, so long in fact, I'm still in it.  Yes, I'm currently waiting in line for tickets to the new James Bond film.  I've actually written this as about thirty text messages.  It is the first Steve's Word post to be written in such a fashion.  I take solace, a quantum of solace, in that.

Matt Toder:

There are many ways in which this election has left me at a loss.  There's no arguing about the brilliance of this moment, and we should all feel lucky to have been around for such a day.  It's a triumph of meritocracy, it's a sea change in the way the world will look at us and the way we look at ourselves.  While I don't believe that everything will be perfect forever now, it's obvious that we took the right turn.  We could have crumbled under the weight of a hateful campaign, full of name-calling and distortions of truth, brimming with cynicisms and smugness.  But we didn't.  Instead of our fears guiding us, it was our aspirations that did.  I think there may be no truer definition of "hope" than that.

3 Comments

  • 1

    Tim,

    In your photo, your shirt is folded in such a way as to spell "Mired." Is this a reference to your statments on the war?

    PLEASE DO EXPLAIN!

    - With love and dance fever,

    Flexx "Poppin' Flo" Neonstixxx

  • 2

    [...] “sweet” casually, so you know I mean it.  Srsly though, this is I think the “restoration of the American Dream,” Tim talked [...]

  • 3

    Toder! Are you writting speeches for Obama now? That was beautiful. You gave one of those hearty chuckle on the outside with a soft teary on the inside moments...

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