Wednesday, November 5, 2008
:::A Night To Remember::November 4, 2008:::
Times Square transformed into a de-facto nightclub last night. People from all walks of life were huggin', cryin', screamin', and carryin' on. Though I'm well aware of the Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde tendencies of politicians and the sordid trails of unfulfilled promises they often leave behind them, and the fact that Barack in theory could also be "that guy," I just needed to rejoice in the sheer significance and symbolism of the moment.
The hopes and dreams of millions were staked on this very moment in time. On November 4th, it seemed that the fate of the entire nation hung in the balance. After voting took place at the polls, people watched intently in bars, living rooms, and restaurants from coast to coast as the state totals came in one by one. And when the victory bell rang, it was inevitable that a celebration would commence.
It was a celebration of the end of Bush's reign of error. A celebration of a theoretical transcendence of racial barriers. A celebration of the potential of America's future. From the South Bronx, to Broadway, to Brooklyn, NYC partied like New Year's Eve last night. And for what it was worth, it was one of the most memorable moments of my lifetime. In attempts to further understand the political process from a grassroots level, I served as an inspector during the general election at a poll site in NYC's Election District 99 and did door-to-door canvasing in Philadelphia the entire day before the election.
So I can definitely say that I'm elated that all my efforts bore fruits of victory. Still, it intrigues me to think of what this country would have been like had McKinney and Clemente won. In all honesty, I'm more partial to the platform of the Green party than any other. But I'm also fully aware than Green politics is far too radical for most in this country to accept. Even though it addresses many of the problems pervasive in our society and environment. And the Socialism & Libertarian and Socialist Workers parties are too closely linked to Communism and its pejorative connotations in the minds of many. Though we are in theory a Multi-party political system, we've essentially been polarized between the democratic and republican parties.
As much as I want to believe that Barack Obama represents the "change we need," I don't think the American public is fully ready to fight for it nor are the politicians we vote into power competent enough to deliver it. The separation of church and state has only segued into the union of commerce and state. And the neo-liberalism of the past quarter century is an example of the consummation of that union. However, with the recent quasi-meltdown of our economy and the federal government's foray into partial ownership of the banking sector seems to be debunking that premise.
But I digress...
As much as my faith in the political system is declining, I still participated in the voting process. Though I side with many of my more progressive (although politically inactive) friends, I owe it to my ancestors to rock the vote solely based on the fact that many of them fought and died for me to have that right. And I'm sure their spirits are dancing with a divine sense of vindication and pride. I'm in no way envisioning Barack Obama as a sociopolitical elixir or grand equalizer. I do not think that he is the Superman that many may want him to be. I expect that he will fall somewhat short of expectations and disappoint to some extent. But I am excited about the change that his election represents and will inevitably effect. I am also thrilled at the children of color living in lower socioeconomic areas who now have a role model holding the highest office in the land to look up to. In summation, I am excited for the future that this harbinger of a moment signals. Maybe not to be actualized in my lifetime, but in of those of my younger cousins, nephews, nieces, and my unborn children.
The First Family, 2009-2012.