I am so happy, and so tired! I stayed up until 12:30 a.m. today (Nov 5th), and after five hours of sleep I worked a full morning shift at Resurrection House. Then my pal Ben and I had a celebration lunch. (I had my first hamburger and fries in a year - surely the most “American” of meals for a day on which I am so proud to be an American).
YES WE DID.
We did in the Electoral College, and in the popular vote:
BARACK Obama won the popular vote by a six-point margin of 52 to 46 per cent for vanquished Republican rival John McCain, US networks said today.
Senator Obama earned 62.98 million votes nationwide and Senator McCain, 55.78 million, NBC reported.
My adopted State of Florida voted for Senator Obama!
I voted for Jesse Jackson in the 1988 primary. I shared his tears last night.
As soon as the Florida polls closed last night I stole a sign from the local polling station. (We are not allowed signs in my condo. complex). I’ll keep it as an antimacassar!
Michelle and Barack Obama show each other such great tenderness.
M.W. is a “70 something” guest at Resurrection House. She is a white woman from rural Kentucky. She asked me today what I thought about the election. I told her of my joy.
She told me that she was scared. I asked her if this was because of her background and up-bringing. “Yes” she replied.
I told her that she had nothing to fear.
That Senator Obama was the very best candidate.
That he was very bright, and good for the country.
She grinned and then said “Now that you have said that Pastor Michael, I will not be afraid”. We hugged and laughed.
Miky is a neighbour. She is a Jewish woman in her early 80’s. We have kvetched about
the election lo these many months. This evening we danced a jig for joy out in our street, whilst her dog “Gigi” looked on - tail-a-wagging.
I was at the customer service desk in our local “Publix” supermarket this evening. Ahead of me was an African-American woman who was buying up every copy of our local daily newspaper.
I noticed her red eyes and asked “have you been crying?” “Yes”, she said, “for joy. I cried all night”.
Then she continued to extemporize about Senator Obama as a President-elect for all the people. She insisted that this had nothing to do with the colour of his skin, and everything to do with the content of his character. She was sure that he would bring us together. She talked about the magnitude of his task. She spoke of Senator McCain’s terrific concession speech
Meanwhile I got teary eyed, as did three other customers who were nearby.
So there you have it: A “red neck” woman; a Jewish woman; a black woman; and this old white fart.
Four people united in hope.
But now I must sleep!