I want to try to put down some coherent thoughts about last night, and about how I feel today. Only, I'm tired and sleepless and not feeling particularly coherent. Still, I know that I will be sorry if I don't try to say the things that I'm thinking.
President-Elect Barack Obama. Damn.
I didn't see Obama's acceptance speech until this morning. I watched McCain's concession last night. I was, I have to grudgingly admit, pleased with McCain's dignified exit from the race. Whatever else I might think about the man, he comported himself with dignity last night, and he said the things I think he should have said. I will note that a small group of his supporters there in Phoenix booed loudly, if briefly, when he first spoke Obama's name. I will note that no such booing occurred in Chicago when Obama spoke respectfully of McCain.
I will note my great disappointment that, on this day when I want so badly to believe, I must continue to be ashamed of my connection to the Deep South. To my eyes, the South missed another opportunity to take a step away from its history of hatred and bigotry, and I regret that, deeply.
And then there's Proposition 8 in California, which, right now, looks like it will pass. In California, by a narrow margin, people are apparently deciding to rewrite their state's constitution for the purpose of denying civil liberties to a substantial portion of its population. You expect this sort of shit from Kansas, but California? Even keeping in mind that the success of the proposition stemmed, largely, from an expensive campaign of hatred waged from Utah by the Mormons, it's the people of California who will have to answer to history for this atrocity.
I'm no good with politics. I've never claimed to be. Right now, I feel like an embittered, exhausted rebel who, after years of disgust and fury and withdrawal, is finally ready to concede that there might be cause for hope. But I will not take my eyes off Proposition 8, or the 56,017,369+ voters who, yesterday, showed their support for the Republicans and those things that Republicans have come to represent. There are just as many racists as there were this time yesterday. There are just as many gay bashers. There are just as many warmongers and religious fanatics. There are just as many people looking the other way while the rich simultaneously rape the poor and then send their children to die in Iraq and Afghanistan. The planet is just as poisoned. Look at California, and see how far we have left to go before we are all free.
Last week, I told Spooky that I'd come to feel that my "political view" could best be summed up by something Mal says to Simon at the beginning of Serenity —— "I look out for me and mine. That don't include you 'less I conjure it does...Don't push me, and I won't push you." Of course, the film ends with Mal risking his life and the lives of those he loves for the sake of the truth of things. So, maybe there's hope for me yet.
And maybe, just maybe, there's hope for America, and for this whole sorry world. I'm trying.