It probably says something about the world that my first question to Kevin this morning was "Did you look at the internet?"
"There weren’t any headlines like "McCain pulls eleventh hour victory," were there?"
North Carolina is too close to call. Still. Obama is up by a few thousand, but it’s going to go to provisional ballots and absentee and whatnot. This isn’t important to the election, obviously, but it’s important for two reasons–first of all, it means we’re now a swing state, instead of a reliable red gimme for the Republican party, which means a lot of things about demographics and future campaigns and how proud I am of my state right now.
Second of all, if anybody ever tells me, for the rest of my life, that my vote is insignificant, I can look back at this election, and tell them where to go. We are at a point where a handful of votes really will change the perception of the state and the electorate therein. Will it change the whole world? Oh, probably not. The world is big and it rolls along with fine disregard for most of us. But it’ll sure as hell change my corner of it.
More importantly–maybe most importantly–as many, many people have said far more eloquently, we now have a black president-elect.
Lots of people have been saying they never thought it would happen in their lifetime. I’m not in that camp. I always thought it would happen in my lifetime–my third grade teacher told me it would, and I wasn’t going to doubt her–but I always thought I’d be old. I thought I’d probably be one of those eighty-year-old women they show at the conventions with tears streaming down their faces. I thought that there would be interviews with the last ancient survivors who marched with Martin Luther King. I never thought for a minute that it would happen when I was thirty-one years old, and not even in my prime.
I am a bad patriot, for the most part. I tend to view it as the last refuge of a scoundrel. I am snarky and cynical and frequently bitter. "My country, right or wrong," strikes me as unnuanced at best and dangerous at worst. For all the good we do, we also do a lot of things that make me cringe and want to go ’round to other people’s countries and apologize for mine not using its company manners in public.
But I am so damn proud of us right now for doing this. We were better than I expected us to be. I can’t say my faith in my country is utterly restored–politics tends to leave scar tissue, god knows–but god, we did so good.