Last night, as I’m sure you’re aware, Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States, proving, as he told the crowd gathered in Chicago, that “everything really is possible in America.” Last night I celebrated this victory with friends. We toasted President-elect Obama with champagne and traded jubilant shouts and fist-pumps with strangers in the streets.
This morning I woke up and life is marching on as usual and the euphoria is gone. There are other issues to battle with, both in my personal life and the country at large. As for me, I have an uphill battle ahead. Last Friday I lost my job. In the worst possible job market and at the worst possible time, I got laid off. I’m young and resilient so I’m sure I will be fine. I am happy to be moving on to new experiences, and because of some smart financial decisions several months ago I shouldn’t have any trouble making ends meet. I have so much to be thankful for, but I’m a little bitter about the layoff (and really, who wouldn’t be?).
The country has won a seminal battle but is still, literally and figuratively, fighting a war. I had hoped to see a “no” vote on Proposition 8 in California this morning, but that result is still unclear and leaning towards the “yes” vote. I will spare this post a long diatribe on Prop 8, but let me say my heart is broken over the other 4 states that passed anti-gay measures last night, and it will break further if California wipes rights already given off the books and institutionalizes hate.
Democrats made huge strides last night, nearly reaching the filibuster-proof-ness in the Senate. (Didn’t quite make it, which means we’ll have to keep Lieberman on our side, which kinda sucks.) But the Congress that comes together in January, and our new President with them, still have to dig the country out of a giant hole. I feel like last night the country was able to see the sun again, but we’re still standing in the hole. We can’t forget how much we still have to do.