A Few 2008 Post-election Thoughts

Right now my house is silent. It’s not because of any possible historical significance of who the next president of the United States will be. It’s because for the first time in months, the phones aren’t ringing several times each hour from out-of-area, 800, and 877 numbers wanting to get my apparently very important opinion on the upcoming election. Election day was the worst as the get-out-the-vote callers hit my phones 17 times in one half-hour period (yes, I counted).

And the silence is rest.

Before I forget, I also penned a micro-poem upon seeing an image with 43 white presidential guys followed by one somewhat more brown:

A man

I know I can be wordy, but sometimes four words say much more than paragraphs.

When I was looking at how the cartogram I was updating was filling out, I couldn’t help but notice how red the “Bible belt” was. I don’t want to read too much into it, but it definitely made me go, “Hmmm”.

Another “Hmmm” moment: when America elected a black man as president, it was one without a pedigree from the days of U.S. slavery (so far as I know…maybe something on his mother’s side). Was not having to carry that specific burden something that was necessary for both sides of our shrinking racial divide? I’m sure there’s a Ph.D thesis or two in there somewhere…I just don’t quite know what they would be.

Like many, I’ve been following California’s Proposition 8, as well as other similar ballot initiatives across the country. As I write this, it looks like all of them will speak from the pulpit that it’s a plug and socket country (though Prop 8 isn’t quite dead, yet). What I want to know is: “WHAT ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF?!?”

Here’s a link that I think gives very reasoned arguments as to why this man/woman only thing is irrational (at best). It doesn’t demonize, but simple asks and answers the various questions.

The thing I found interesting was the demos from the exit polling on this issue. It seems to largely an issue with educated white women under 65 (plus some Asian demo that wasn’t broken down). That’s pretty much the core of the “no” vote. I’d love to get the religion stats, but they weren’t asked. Admittedly, a lot of the votes were closely hovering around the 50% range, but the “no” victories in the exit polling were pretty narrow.

Whatever. I still don’t understand why so many are so afraid about people who aren’t like them. Back in the mid-60s, when I saw on TV a Hollywood event with a couple made up of a white man and a black woman. My parents tried to explain to me how society was against that. I understood, but did not comprehend. Now, having a mixed-race president-elect, I’m happy to report that in these sorts of issues I do still understand but cannot comprehend.

And with our new president-elect, I can officially say that I’m old. Though it’s only by months, I’m older (and wiser? :-). This kid is going to be running the country in 11 weeks. It’s a wonder.

Switching gears…boy did William Bennett beat a hasty exit from the CNN analyst table after Obama won or what? Day-um. No big loss though. Soledad O’Brien took his place at the table. (She’s been a fav of mine since the 90s when she reported on tech stuff.)

What else? I’m looking forward to having children in the White House again. I think they make their presidential parent more keenly aware that what they do will have consequences for the next generation.

Michelle Obama as the first lady will be a pleasant change for me. Finally, someone like people I’ve been happy to have as friends in my life. She’s perhaps the first presidential spouse that I can relate to.

And lastly… I’m hoping that the only thing that really matters now is that someone who has a clue is replacing someone who hasn’t. To be honest, I don’t give a flying fig what color Obama’s skin is. All I know is that he can talk a good lick. That’s important, but now comes put-up-or-shut-up time. Can he deliver? That’s all that’s really mattered to me throughout this decades-long election. (Well, it seemed that long.) Some improvement is inevitable…it’s hard to imagine the country falling into much worse shape. I want to see what happens with those things that matter, and if the new president will have the brass to stand up to the JCS and garner their respect. As long as this Congress doesn’t go too nuts we should get by OK (I’ve said it before, Executive and Legislative of the same party is a bad combo).

So, godspeed to the newly elected government. May the wind be at their backs and may the road rise up to meet them.

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