Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And the new president is... Barack Obama

I guess I feel a stranger in blogland this morning. Because I do not know how to feel. First of all, there is the fact that, as an American resident, this election would influence my life, but since I am not a citizen, I can not vote.
What I like this morning is the fact that every conservative blog I have read (which aren't that many) have very gracious posts on them. Many are able to step past their dissapointment and see the historic significance of this event. I also see very little gloating from the people whose prefered candidate did win. Instead I see a warm, reconcilliatory tone, and an eye towards the future. Both responses inspire me with hope and faith that this choice was the one that had to be.

What makes me feel like a stranger though, is that I do not seem to fit in the category of the victors or the vanquished. I have kept silent during the campaigning period on politics and will rarely rear the topic here. It is not my... field or my expertise and I have more to say on the way to change the future through small daily actions than I have confidence in my voice when it comes to politics.
And yet.... I like Barack Obama. I think he has the potential to be a great president. While I appreciate McCain's service to his country... part of me wanted Barack Obama to win. And part of me did not want him to win. I like his positions on economy... I like his plans for healthcare. I don't mind government interference. I come from a country with a lot of it, and in my mind it works better. I never needed to have near heart failure after a doctors visit because of the bill, or think about where to buy a house based on the schooldistrict. All schools were accessible to me, and people would have laughed at the idea of starting to save for college when a baby is just born.

And yet... there is the one part of Obama's views that I have such great problems with. Some people call these 'his moral views'. I disagree. All of the above... healthcare, economy, education... are all part of someones moral view, and thus part of Obama's is in my opinion excellent.
It is however hard for me to give my wholehearted support to someone who believes that any person has the right to determine the humanity of another person. It always strikes me as even stranger for African Americans to support this idea, since they have been, quite literally, at the other end of the stick.

There is so much good president elect Obama can do. And I pray he will do it. I have confidence that he will be a good president, and I pray for him that he will focus on those things America needs right now: a brighter future for all our children, with decent healthcare, wonderful schools, oportunities and underneath it, a net to catch those that threaten to slip and fall.

Yesterday, when the news was anounced, I did not know what to feel. Joy on one hand, and doubt on the other. I look forward to having that doubt removed. I look forward to finding out later that this was indeed a historic moment. I felt regret also that I had not had part in this victory. If only that one fraction of Obama's views had been different, I would have been out in the streets campaigning for him. Did I win? Did I lose? I do not think I did either. It feels strange when history happens under your eyes, and you have no part in it, not because of indifference, but because you can not morally chose to step forward or backward, but are rooted in one spot.

Yet there is something comforting about being rooted. Presidents will come and go, history will change around us, and amidst it we will live our life, and make our own little choices every day, as important as that big vote of only 24 hours ago. What was I doing when Obama became president? I was knitting a scarf as a christmas present, a scarf that, ironically, I needed to unravel today, due to a little mistake in the beginning. It might be a good metafoor... history was knitted in those stitches, and yet unravelling them only gave me an oportunity to try again, to have a new start. I am a tree in the forest. My roots were far from here, but here they have been replanted. The wind of history is rustling my leaves, whispering it's message. But I am still here. Tomorrow I will need to make decisions again. Choices. Every new day calls for so many votes for or against, in my life as well as in Obama's. May both our choices each day be the right ones.

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