It's past time for the *need* to read these, but here they are just for posterity and because YES, FOR PETE'S SAKE, YES:
The Case for Obama
The Case Against Romney
Why I am Voting for President Obama
On Election Day 2008, all I remember is that I had to go to bed before a winner was called. (I know I voted, but I don't really remember the specifics of how or when.) An hour or two later, I was woken up by shouts and cheers of ecstatic Brooklynites in the streets. At the time, I was teaching at First Charter School, where I was exhausted and miserable. I remember that our grade had held an assembly to talk about the election and someone showed the will.i.am music video. Our students--almost all African-American--were glued to it, and so emotional and thrilled about even the possibility of someone who looked like them being the leader of our country. There were tears of excitement and hope.
This time around, being on the West Coast and not working traditionally both meant that I could stay up as late as I wanted--the official call happened by 9pm, and though it took forever for the speeches to happen, that wasn't a problem. (I have to say that I kept remarking how boring it must have been for all those people in the Obama arena to stand around and wave flags/dance/etc for hours...)
My favorite part was being on social media for the night--I really enjoyed seeing what everyone was thinking and reading their reactions in real time, on facebook and twitter. I really felt like I was part of a big community of friends around the country (and around the world even!), and it was special. I don't know if it's silly, but I think that's a big part of what I want to take away from the election as a whole--people with common beliefs coming together. Happily, and probably not coincidentally, most people I know in real life and online have similar ideologies, at least at a basic level, to mine. I felt like we were all celebrating together.
I believe that with this win, more people's lives will improve, and more people will retain more rights (like gays, women, immigrants, people with pre-existing health conditions). I hope that the government can get its head out of its ass to get some freaking work done for the American people, rather than for extremist votes. The economy will continue to improve (which was projected to happen regardless of who is president), and maybe there will be some important reform (corporate, environmental) that will get us on a track to positively impacting our future generations.
My home state of Washington as well as three others passed laws for marriage equality. New Hampshire elected all female government representatives (governor, Senate, House). There are now a record twenty women in the US Senate. An AmeriCorps alum was elected to the Senate too! There is no doubt that there is a lot of work to do (there are some truly disgusting comments/tweets/posts flying around the interwebs--if I could, I would personally go visit each and every one of those vile people and slap some sense into them), but overall I'm proud of the election results and I'm hopeful that America is heading in the right direction.
Four More Years!