I'm pretty cynical about the Democrats. I'm cynical about Barack's ability to really change what's going on in the world. I not only think it's outside his power to change the economic system that has kept working people under the boot for hundreds of years, I think it's also simply not in his newest job description. The President of the United States simply isn't placed to get rid of US hegemony. To say the least, the Obamania I experienced in the US exasperated me. To say yet more, the same phenomenon appeared in Sydney and exasperated even more. Largely because in Sydney, the enthusiasm for Obama expresses itself not in "Get out the vote" events, but in rather...stranger ways:
Campos Coffee in Newtown, Sydney says, "To maintain Campos' staggering turnover of 200 coffees an hour, they draw on an arsenal of over 10 blends, including our pick: the new Obama Blend - a strong, slightly syrupy but eloquent coffee, blending beans from Africa and the Americas. Go Obamarama!"
But when I woke up today (Wednesday), I knew the decision was made. Obama won, McCain conceded in the face of obvious defeat. Obama got out record numbers of voters.
I don't think the US has broken with the racism rooted in the very earliest days of the nation. I think the remnants of the Civil War, slavery, the Native American genocides that benefited the US as young nation are buried in the ground, sowed into our soil. They will affect everything that grows until we dig it out, acknowledge it, and radically change the society that prospered on the backs and blood of poor and colored people.
But today, as I read the New York Times, I read the stories of colored people crying, dancing with joy, feeling finally redeemed. I read stories of working people ecstatic at the end of a neoconservative regime. I read stories about people, just like me, who weren't sure he'd be able to do all he said, but voted for him because it was better than anything we've seen in the past ten years. Better than anything I've seen in my life...but I know that's not really saying much.
And I found myself crying with hope, joy, worry and relief for my tired aching country. I never expected to feel this way; today, I'm just a little proud of America.