The noise was cheering. Whoops and screams of joy, as people in my upper Manhattan neighborhood took to the streets to share Barack Obama’s and the Democrats’ triumph. It was even far more jubilant than the first seconds of a New Year. But then again, this election meant so much more than a fresh start. This was the first election in which I was eligible to cast a vote for President, and I cried and danced and shouted with abandon like so many others when the results came in. After eight years enduring perhaps the most frightening administration in the nation’s history, the Dick and George show is history. I hope the scribes will clearly record all the atrocities, bunglings, greed and callousness of the Bush years. Infamy should be carved in stone. If we can’t have war crimes indictments and it’s too late for impeachments, then maybe we can erect some kind of monument of shame. The episode calls for something big.
I am joyful and optimistic over the prospect of having a cool-headed, intellectual, eloquent leader. I believe he will bring many smart, capable, talented and driven people with him to give us a diverse administration that is our best hope for tackling the challenges that face us. We have to wonder how we were fortunate enough to get the fabulous bonus of our new First Family. I don’t expect that even in eight years we will be seeing those girls out on drinking and drug binges, or having any Alaska-style shotgun weddings.
All the information I could gather, and obsessively gather I did, confirmed to me that Obama was the best candidate. [I’ll admit I was a bit jittery after my first vote ever, cast for former Gov. Spitzer, didn’t exactly work out so well.] I was told by many that Obama could never get elected because of his skin color, his name, his resume, and/or his age, and I had to hope they were wrong. Actually, I had to do more than just hope, I had to participate. And that’s what so many of us did for the pride and privilege of living this historical moment. Now we need to remain vigilant and informed, and keep participating to make sure we move forward.
I know, I know. This is supposed to be a blog about drawing, and here I am talking politics again. After this, I promise to get back to that worthy subject. It has taken me several days to collect my thoughts. For a little while longer, I ask that you please bear with me, even if I’m still prone to getting choked up over it all.
This post starts with the question, “What was that noise?” Beside the cheers on the street, there was the big noise of the youth vote. Pollsters threatened that those kids wouldn’t show up, and how wrong they were. My friend has a son who just moved to North Carolina, where he was also a first-time voter. Votes like his helped take the state and win the election. “Had the Democratic 18-29 vote stayed the same as 2004’s already impressive percentage, Obama would have won by about 2 points, and would not have won 73 electoral votes from Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, or Indiana.”
There were other noises to remember too. The jeers and boos and name-calling of fearful, ignorant, xenophobic crowds. The loud call by Republicans for Republicans to be included in the new administration, disregarding their own historical disinclination to reach out to any Dems (I’m not counting Lieberman). Now, we should believe they didn’t really mean those hateful things (Michele Bachmann) — it was just the liberal (i.e. Jewish) media and “gotcha” journalism that “tricked” people into spewing hate.
More noise: The protests after four states dealt a terrible blow to the advancement of equal rights for ALL citizens, INCLUDING those who are not heterosexual. Thank goodness for the protests, because that kind of disgraceful injustice should not be tolerated in silence. [Keith Olbermann says it all.]
The ban on my reading anything about Sarah Palin after 9pm has at last been lifted, being that she can no longer effectively ruin my night’s sleep. I still think the Frosted Flake, aka Caribou Barbie aka Bible Spice has a whole lot of explaining to do, but hopefully any noises that spill from that idiotic gob with the lipliner tattoos (and Jimmy Choos) will be muffled in the deep, deep hole she continues to ambitiously dig for herself.
Now I will roll up my sleeves, take a deep breath of fresh air filled with the scent of crunchy autumn leaves (daydreaming about actually having an environmentalist head the EPA), and get back to business. Among other things, there’s a party I need to plan for January 20th. I know there are other noises I’ve omitted, but in the meantime, I’ll try to stay on the subject of art, at least until you-know-who starts handing out pardons.