They'll come without notice, still. The tears, I mean. I've spent the better part of today in an emotional haze born of exhaustion and pent-up hope, getting little or no work done, surfing for photos from the nation and world over showing people, citizens of the planet we share, celebrating Barack Obama's epochal election. I sit here reborn and amazed, and I'm not alone. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Last night was American history crystallized into one brilliant moment, and as I, my family and hundreds of relieved and ecstatic fellow revelers at the official Democratic party bash in Reno, Nev., witnessed that moment when Obama blew by 270 electoral votes — just after the polls closed in California, Oregon and Washington and those states' votes immediately fell into the Illinois senator-turned-superstar's column — we exploded into riot of cheers, tears and rapidly quaffed beers. The glow hasn't worn off, and it won't for a long while. After eight years either in or on the edge of the wilderness, this was too good. We got our guy into office, and things are most definitely gonna change.
Of course, nearly half our fractured nation don't welcome that promise of change. They liked things the way they were, liked the fact that whatever taxes they forced themselves to pay were increasingly being dumped into one war without any remaining possible path to what any lucid soul would call "victory," and into another that needs to be funded and manned in a meaningful way, or, worse yet, that billions of these same dollars were disappearing into the black corners of the same bloated government they claim to abhor. They wanted to keep the white guy's Presidential party just the way it was, though their current standard-bearer, John McCain, wasn't lost on the meaning of this night, the tremendous cultural upshot of his loss. He gave a gracious speech and got booed for it. That was the tenor and bitter flavor of his misguided campaign in a nutshell, and thank God it's over. But a scant half hour later, when Obama strolled out on the Chicago stage in front of 125,000 people (and untold millions more via TV and the Internet), loose and calm as ever, he got right to the gist of HIS campaign, nailed again and again in his soaring but matter-of-fact rhetoric the reasons why so many of us got off our asses and worked for this very moment. He didn't shy away from the fact that we'll all need to sacrifice, that the America we want, deserve and can even see won't come easily, or quickly. He told the truth. That's all we've asked, and this "Real American" (sorry, Sarah) keeps giving it to us. No matter what Rush and Sean and Bill-O say. No matter what the right wing fears. They have nothing to say now, and soon enough, they will see that Barack Obama's place in history is right up there with Washington, Lincoln, the Roosevelts and Martin Luther King. And their bogus blatherings will find no purchase on the rock of renewal upon which we can now rebuild our nation, together. As citizens of the world.
As we raced home from the party to watch Barack's speech, I told our 11-year-old daughter, "You'll never forget this moment. This is true history." And it is. And she won't, nor will my other three kids (one of whom I must report voted for McCain). Nor will I. And I'll probably cry every time I take a moment to think about what really happened here, how we finally turned a corner.
So, not it's time to grow up, get with it and turn blessed opportunity into the kind of America the Founding Fathers envisioned, not perfect, but a more perfect union. The America we deserve and need and must be willing to work for.