It has now been one week since Senator Barrack Hussein Obama’s glorious defeat of rival John McCain for the top dog in Washington, President Elect. The fact that Obama’s campaign was near flawless, and his couth immaculate, could only be overshadowed by the inclusiveness that he sought to engage. Day after day, and night after night, Obama’s tone and message was seamless; his passion reverberated through his words and cast a spell of hope onto the peoples of the world, seeking to unite all in world peace and collaboration. Black, White, Asian, Native American, Indian, Gay, Straight – everyone would have a place in Obama-land, and their voices accepted that in unprecedented unity with a resounding, ‘Yes We Can’ change the world for the better.
Among the many historical texts that will be written regarding Election night on Tuesday, November 4 th, 2008, there will be few that will outshine the changing of the Old South’s guard. Virginia, long the confederate state, which prospered like no other 200 years ago, due in large part to its importation of slaves (labour), and blatant black oppression, changed its colour from predominantly red to blue to black with a 53% democratic win. Not since 1964 had Virginia voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate (http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/441/index.html ). It had only been 50 years since the white politicians of the state had organized the Massive Resistance movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_resistance ); a political campaign actively seeking to further disenfranchise African Americans and strip them of their voting rights (lasting until the 1960’s civil rights movement). As the state battled with both state and federal courts over segregation and civil rights in the 1950’s, many schools were closed, leaving little educational opportunity for those in the area. Both of the two major political parties played key roles on each side of the docket, and both political parties have dramatically changed since then.
Perhaps the rest of the South will follow suit, but it wasn’t to be in this election, where the once strong held voice of the American people was now simply a blip on the radar screen as the Republican wins stood firm in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia (although voter turnout was low). Among the other battleground states to change their colours, were North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio and Florida, all eking out narrow Democratic victories, no doubt in part to the Democratic campaign’s intense voter registration offices placed throughout each state, as well as working door to door to register voters. The Democratic campaign raised more money than any other campaign in history, mainly from on-line donations of 10, 20 and 50 dollars. Their web, email, text, and cell phone presence was a vision like no other, and Obama’s staff worked it like a well oiled machine, resulting in wins where few were expected.
Amongst the historical humour from the week, it had to be the District of Columbia vote – 93% Democrat, Obama win. Did the current white house staff make up the lowly 7% Republican vote, although many of them were most likely ready for a change as well. At first, that number proved deceivingly suspicious, but the vote checked in at 210,000 to 14,000. It is no wonder that the march to the White House occurred on Election night, and surprisingly nobody drove a moving van up to the doors.
President Elect Obama has a big mess ahead of him. He has clearly outlined his plan within the contexts of his newly appointed inner circle of staff. Two members of his imaginative campaign staff – David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, along with newly appointed Chief of Staff, Rahim Emanuel, will join Obama’s transition team (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/us/series/the_new_team/index.html ) making it one of the tightest inner circles ever compiled within the White House walls. Along with his new team, Obama’s expectations are great, and his time to perform them is limited, whether it is the exit from Iraq and Afghanistan, the 53 Million uninsured Americans without healthcare coverage, the energy crisis, or the currently looming and devastating financial crisis plaguing every facet of society, his actions will be scrutinized by the many, both those that voted for him and those that didn’t. Hope is not ONLY on the way, it has arrived!
~~Times Square Happiness