First, foremost, and obviously, on a purely emotional level I feel genuine relief and a bit embarrassed for having been marginally worried over the last couple months. The plane landed safely; despite the
Then joy, which has yet to reach peak bloom and is still too
Then there’s the sense of anticlimax: seeing it so suddenly end at the moment we were all told it’d just be getting exciting. Oh well, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last from Karl et al.
Surprising to me, I also feel empathy for all those millions who’d undoubtedly turned off their televisions, slumped off to bed after Ohio was called thinking the world had just ended. I guess, no matter the victory, I’ll never forget losing Ohio in 2004, hitting the floor like I’d been simultaneously punched in the face and kicked in the groin, knowing that there was nothing left between us and another four years of Bush.
Also sadness. I will never have opportunity to vote for Mr. Obama again. I will almost certainly never witness so expert a political campaign as his presidential election and
Finally, I’m feeling a tiny little feeling that I’m anxious even typing. I’m not foolish enough to think even for a minute that the G.O.P. will abruptly realize the error of its ways, brazenly stand up to its moneyed overlords, and come to the bargaining table in good faith. No, I know, like the ship slowly circling the vortex, it’s too late for that party to escape the gravity of its follies. And that even if it weren’t too late, I know that no one with any real power inside the party can acknowledge the magnitude of the demographic forces at work without giving up that power.
But there it is just the same, that wholly vulnerable, delicate flower, so easily stomped and ground back into the earth without warning. There it is, the only shield we have against the constancy of the fears and resentments that have so infected the last century and half of American history: hope.
Hope that somewhere over the last two years, without anyone noticing, we reached a tipping point as a population. Hope that 50 or 100 years from now, it will be common knowledge than right around the beginning of the second decade of the
Hope that history is over and the future can now finally begin.
Godspeed, all of us, toward that distant home.