Yes we did.
I love living in New York, but this is maybe the night I’ve loved it most. Everyone is in the streets cheering. People are yelling “Yes We Can!” to strangers. I watched two girls hug on a street corner, and a smiled as a car full of cheering boys drove past me. Taxis are honking. Before the election was called for Obama, I was in my office in midtown working late, and every hour and a half or so, all the way up on the 30th floor, I would hear a huge swelling cheer from the street — and a quick click over to NBC would show that Obama had just won one state or another. I haven’t seen people this excited any other time in my life; I also haven’t ever heard a speech like the one Obama gave tonight. New Yorkers waited in two, three, and four-hour-long lines today to cast ballots overwhelmingly for a candidate we all knew was going to win our state. That’s an incredible show not only of patriotism and of support for this one man, but, to use a popular word this year, of hope.
My mom, a former Hillary Clinton supporter raised on the South side of Chicago, sent me two text messages tonight — one saying that she’s outside the house in our quiet, manicured suburb banging pots and pans to celebrate the victory of a south-side boy (she ended the text with “Only in America! The audacity of hope”), and another saying “This makes me proud to be an American again.”
In law school I studied for a semester in Hamburg, Germany, and lived with a pretty cool German dude. We keep in touch, and he sent me a message the other day to let me know that, at our little private (fairly conservative) northern German business law school, 1500 people turned up for an election party — the vast majority of them in support of Barack Obama. 1500 people. For Obama. In Germany. At one tiny school. I don’t even think 1500 people attend the school.
My best friend since I was 12 currently lives in rural Arizona with her husband, a former Marine. Her mother’s family was one of the first black families to live in our town. She was raised Jehovah’s Witness, and left the church a few years ago. This is the first election she voted in. She’s spent the past few weeks worrying that Obama had no chance — after all, we may have been raised in liberal Seattle, but now she lives in a place where the n-word is tossed around pretty freely and she’s the only Democrat in sight. She texted me intermittently throughout the night because, having never voted or followed an election before, she couldn’t really follow what all the conflicting and confusing results meant — so she wanted to know, “When can I be excited?” When they called the election for Obama, she was the first person I called, so that I could tell her as much as myself: “Now.”
Earlier we were talking about our states of mind. Right now, I feel nothing but pride.
Similar Posts (automatically generated):
- New York City to teen moms: You suck, and your kids hate you. by Caperton March 14, 2013
- One Nation Under God by Lauren August 23, 2005
- A Wish List for Young Parents by Jill September 23, 2008
- Raising a Progressive-Minded Kid by Lauren November 8, 2009
- Bad Mommy by Jill June 22, 2009