I still sort of can't believe that Barack was elected. After 2000 and 2004, I really had to see it to believe it, and I only barely do believe it. Watching the crows erupt in cheers and tears when the news programs called it for Obama was one of the most moving experiences I can remember outside personal, family events.
The fact that crowds full of people of every race were celebrating the election of a Black man a mere 43 years after the Voting Rights Act is a bewilderingly fast reversal of attitude for this country. Sure, there are still plenty of people who think Obama is going to destroy the country by...I don't know...agreeing to surrender to bin Laden when he calls and asks, turning us into a socialist country by allowing the government to buy a stake in financial institutions (oh, right, the Republicans already did that), taxing us into oblivion (an excellent way to ensure long-term control of government by the Democrats, I'm sure), or flat-out killing babies (an actual belief documented by a relative, who was told this directly at work). But for the most part, it was a flat-out, fairly fought, and significant win. For the Black guy. Wow.
But having said that, I'd like to add that I'm equally happy just for the knowledge that we're finally getting a serious, thoughtful, dedicated public servant back in the White House. Someone who I'm pretty sure is a decent, smart, compassionate, humane person. Someone who will think about the less fortunate as much as the middle and upper classes. Someone who wants our country to win the respect of the world via our actions, not our military. Someone who can turn that respect into greater national security. Someone who wants to hold on to power by doing the right thing and earning popularity and votes, not by manipulating the political system so that opponents lose elections due to disenfranchised voters and unsympathetic, partisan judges.
So, sure, the accomplishment of a majority white country putting a person of color in charge (unprecedented, as far as I can tell, though I'd welcome comments correcting that claim if I'm wrong) is an amazing one. But mostly? I'm just glad the long national nightmare of George W. Bush is just about finally over.