Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It Begins Now

Tonight I went to watch election results with some friends, but started to walk back home as we were nearing time for California and the rest of the West Coast to be called. I knew when all was said and done when seemingly in unison, whole apartment buildings started screaming. Fireworks started going off. There was literally singing on the streets. Cab drivers were going up the street honking their horns, pedestrians were cheering each other on. It was a beautiful sight.

Eight years of misrule were repudiated tonight right here in the streets of DC. As I walked the mile or so from Woodley Park to Adams Morgan where I live, the wave of joy continued to overtake me and all those around me. As I neared the busy intersection of 18th and Columbia, I could literally hear a roar of excitement. People were walking down the streets singing the "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours!"

This night is historic on so many fronts that I don't even know where to begin, and don't think I will. President-elect Obama (!!!!) hasn't gone on stage yet, but we've already heard an exceptionally gracious concession speech from Senator McCain, and I truly wish we had heard more of that John McCain during the campaign than we did.

Yet the hard work now lies ahead of us, in spite of the hard work of the past two years. Electing Barack Obama as President of the United States is the first step towards correcting this country's course, not the last. We'll need to fight to hold this president accountable, just like all the others.

But for now, we celebrate. This is our time, and this is our future. If nothing else, we've already seen tremendous progress based solely on the fact that some 100 million Americans are believed to have voted in this election. That's a damn site better than we've had before, and that's a tremendously good sign. Now let's keep up the momentum, and push ourselves to greatness.

I've been repeating this all week, and perhaps it's trite, but hard work like this is how we grant ourselves peace.