My sister has asked me to finally write about the election. I have not since the primaries and not in depth since I wrote about being a democrat. I was not sure why I had not until my sister-in-law wrote on facebook that this was the first time that someone she had voted for lost. I had the opposite experience. I was almost holding my breath, not wanting to jinx this, something I hope was unconscious. This is the first time that I have voted for someone that won.
I first heard of Barack Obama when I heard him speak at the Democratic convention in 2004. When I heard him speak I could not believe that he was not nominated on the spot instead of Kerry.
I include this speech here, even though it is long for a internet link, because I think that it is the same argument that convinced me to vote for him this time. He argues for ending the war, closing Guantanamo, protecting civil liberties, and most importantly I think he believes in his own message of hope. Just listen to the references he makes at the end of the speech to slaves and spirituals and to the "audacity of hope." (OK, I admit that may be a plug for his book)
As I talk about the election with friends from Church, I get the feeling that this is almost like a sign of the apocolypse. Nothing could be worse for the US they seem to be saying. One friend of mine is convinced that he will push changes that will further destroy the US economy as well as making us as evil as Europe. They whisper that he is a socialist, the most "liberal" senator.
I don't think he will bankrupt the government worse than the republicans already have. Health care reform would be welcome, but I think he is a pragmatist and will have to deal with economic and international concerns first. He does support the bailout plans that seem like such a bad idea to me, but so do the republicans. I think his international and dare I say Muslim heritage is an asset that may help us get out of the Iraqi quagmire. He wants to close Guantanamo bay. I hope he tries to balance the budget and reduce the national debt. He seems to be an honest and moral man, and I hope that he is that and will live up to his own hype.