Monday, November 10, 2008

Election Redux

I wanted to wait a few days to post me election reaction, just to make sure that it had officially sunk in. I think the best way to describe my experiance is to take you through my election day.

It began at 8:30 in the morning when I showed up at the local Obama office here in Plymouth to help with the GOTV (Get Out The Vote) effort. With a quick training they put me on my turf and let me go to work. To give you an idea of how advanced the Obama ground game was, we were only targeting sporadic voters who tend to LEAN democrat. That meant that out of my local precinct we were targeting 47 homes.

I wandered around and knocked on peoples doors, more reminding them to vote then anything else. I did have two particularly memorable experiences. The first was when canvassing a 19yo woman. She came to the door and was AMAZINGLY excited to vote. This being her first election, she was almost shaking she was so excited. It was very refreshing to see someone woo fired up about democracy. The second encounter was when I stopped into a party store to buy a pop. The guy behind the counter asked who I was canvassing for, and after I said Obama he told me "You must have drank the jungle juice", and that "If you vote for Obama you are going to hell." Now for a Christian that is a hard thing to hear, but knowing that it comes from a probable racist, I think God is on my side...ya know that whole love your neighbor thing.

So I wrapped up canvassing and went and voted and then headed home to eat some lunch and generally relax. This was definitely the hardest part of the day. From about 2pm until 5pm I just bounced back and forth between CNN and my computer. The Wife got home from voting and we ordered some pizza (from a new place that gave us very mediocre pizza) and sat down to watch the returns start to come in. At first we were slightly nervous because they were not calling any of the big states. I know that CNN was just being cautious, but it was nerve wracking.

At 8:30 I was meeting up with a friend to head over to the local Obama worker party in downtown Plymouth. The funny part about this is that the party was at a pretty swanky place, and our table was initially next to a bunch of McCain supporters. As more and more Obama people got there, I am pretty sure they decided to watch returns somewhere else. As the returns started rolling in the cheers got louder and louder. When Ohio was called we all got really excited. At this time my friend and I decided to head over the a larger party put on by the Democratic Party in Livonia.

This party was pretty nice as there was food and beverages and band. Hardly anyone was paying any attention to that though, we were all looking at the giant screens showing the coverage of the presidential election. At just before 11pm, when CNN called Virginia, I knew that the math was impossible for McCain, as long as the West coast did it's thing. The entire room, probably 500 people counted down till 11pm second by second. When CNN called the election at 11pm, the entire room went crazy, and I felt a sensation I have only felt a few times in my life. That immeasurable pride in being part of something that is truly historic. I hugged a lady behind me stood up on a chair, raised my fists in the air and cried. It was truly one of the great moments of my life.

Now I know that not everyone out there voted for Obama or even thinks he is a decent guy. Even if that is descries you, the historic nature of the election must be recognized. The old black lady sitting at the party just balling her eyes out and telling her son standing next to her that "he can do anything, just like Barack" should move any soul in America. For that alone I am proud of my country.

After this I hightailed it home to watch Barack's speech on TV. I also heard John McCain's concession speech was masterful, and completely appropriate. I bet a lot of McCain supporters were asking themselves where was that John McCain over the course of the campaign. I was also impressed with Barack's speech not because of it's grandeur or boastfulness; but rather because of it's humility and call to service. It is easy to gloat in victory, but hard to be humble and I thought he did that sincerely.

So congrats to America, land of the free and home of the brave; the place where truly anyone can grow up to be President if they just work hard enough and are bold enough.

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