November 4, 2008: When America Voted for Change
Barack Obama is now the President-Elect. "Jobama" is now the game in town. I found the day to a moving experience for me. What a day!!
I will be thinking about this for a long time. I wrote about it earlier in my current affairs blog, outsiderviews, to reflect upon what happened and what to expect:
Source: http://www.outsiderviews.com, retrieved November 5, 2008
As I write this, Thursday has arrived. I am personally still coming to grips with the historical nature of the election in the United States. I had been reading up on the analysis by all the pundits and the world reactions so far. The entire world seems to have embrace Senator Obama's election. From the reports I have seen, it appears that Senator Obama has hit the ground running. He got the job because he did run a superb campaign and did not lose his cool no matter what. But, as he begins to get ready, he sure has his work cut out for him. The market lost 5% on Wednesday alone. I am still trying to figure out why anyone would want this job.
I was out today on my on-going business commitments. I was amazed to see that folks ran out of newspapers to keep a memento of this election. I actually checked out all the newspaper stands and even the local starbucks. I did manage to pick up a copy of my local paper to keep it for posterity. But, Tuesday was the day I truly understood how significant the election was. For me, it started around 5:30 AM when I left to report to my first precinct. I was amazed as to the volunteers who were staffing the precinct. There was a chaplain from the local fire department, a student, a housewife and a retired gentleman. They all came together to do the right thing. They had gone out the night before to make sure everything was set up and ready to go. When I got there at 6:00 AM, voters were already then ready to go. My reaction was simple this: OMG!!! This was a tempo of things to come. At my second precinct, I again saw America. People were lining up and ready to go. I ran into a bit of snag. But, thanks to the team in place, we were able to resolve it with two minutes to spare. I then proceeded on to my third, fourth and fifth precincts checking on things and making sure everything was on track. As I continued to make the rounds of my precincts, I continued to be amazed by the folks who were showing up. The enthusiasm by all the poll workers uplifted my spirits. I will never forget when one of the volunteers ran to me with joy at reaching the 500th Vote. She had volunteered for that poll and that school for years. It was a long day. But it was a day to be proud of because I saw America at its' best.
I read reports on stuff going wrong. I had two machines that went down. I also had poll watchers keeping a watchful eye. I also had folks advocating for the position they were either for or against while adhering to the 100 ft boundary that was mandated by law. I had folks who had an Obama Sticker, a Republican Proud Shirt who walked in and were reminded to be nonpartisan. But, it was a great experience. But, of course, I was as interested in the elections despite my commitment of service to the Registrar of Voters. I started getting the first returns which pointed to an Obama Victory. I also heard Senator McCain very gracious concession speech. It was the Senator McCain I knew who fought the big spenders and who the patriot was. I also heard Senator Obama speak as well. He told the country and the world of the challenges ahead. He gave the world hope and promised that the world will overcome. I think he set the tone for what he is going to do.
The Democrats had a very good night on Tuesday. There were a lot of celebrations. As I have come to grips with the significance of what has happened, I am also quite mindful of the profound challenges that remain. The world economy is in shambles. We have two wars that do not seem to want to end. We have an Auto Industry that is about to die off. I read a report this morning that a potential death of the Auto Industry will cost 2.3 Million jobs. He will also have to deal with those of us who have begun to speak up and will support him when appropriate and will speak up when he is wrong. I take comfort in his stance on Afghanistan, for instance. I wrote about it earlier in my daily commentary whereby I saw how he understood the nature of the government and the need to have a change in strategy. I will be assessing who is going get the top appointments. I think this will set the tone on how he is going to govern.
The work begins. The experiment we all call America is about to enter a new era. America will renew yet again. All of us in America must do our part. I intend to do mine.