05 November 2008

It's Finally Over.

The 44th President of the United States of America

Finally. It's over.

A few thoughts:
Senator McCain's speech was exceedingly gracious.
(This past week has seen McCain return to form--the "old" McCain of humor, good sense, and not a little energy. I've missed this McCain, and I hope that, as Donna Brazile suggested, that President-Elect Obama offers Senator McCain a cabinet position ).

President-Elect Obama's speech was...well, an Obama speech. I watched the results and the speeches in a crowded, noisy tavern. Many people were in tears. A young Asian-American man collapsed, weeping, in a chair beside me (okay--it was a tavern, and he might have imbibed in a few microbrews).

People bought champagne. They shouted. They applauded. They sang.

I've never seen, never experienced anything resembling this.

Perhaps more later.

Nearly 24 hours after CNN called the election for Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., it's hit me fully: we, the people--not the lobbyists, the special interests, or the political elites, but the people of the United States of America--have made history. It wasn't decided for us, we were the "deciders." Not only have we elected a biracial man to our highest office for the first time (and what can be more indicative of America's oneness than a biracial person?), but we have rejected the 1960s' lingering culture wars. A man who is actually post-Cold War. Post-Vietnam. Post "free love" and , post-politics of the Civil Rights Era. (thanks to a reader who alerted me to some vagueness about the preceding statement. It is pretty loose--my own damned fault for trying to rush on through. I intend to revise it after I get some sleep, but these might help clarify for the moment: Matt Bai’s “Post-Race: Is Obama the End of Black Politics?” and Leonard Pitts’ “Unity, Hope Must Conquer Division, Hate”).

It's Gen X's time, baby.

Aside: The world's reaction here.


Anonymous said...

Bravo! Thanks for sticking in there! You are most gracious and exceedingly worthy of an immense number of kudos!

mpandgs said...

Thank you, "Anonymous." You're kind. And, if you're the "anonymous" I think you are, *you* are deserving of kudos. Many.
I hope you're well.

solon said...

I always love comments by anonymous. They are very insightful....

What do you mean by Post-Civil Rights?

While I think that the Culture War may be on hold for a few years, as some Conservatives may never let it perish, and we may transition from post-Vietnam to post-Iraq, though the narrative of Iraq is on Obama's side, I would not move to post-Civil Rights era.

Suggesting this may lead to a backlash against the Voting Rights Act, which overturned, would not be good for many minorities unable to participate in the political process.

solon said...

Comment approval is terrible. Let Free Speech Live!!!

mpandgs said...

You’re correct that I should clarify my statement, and I’ll amend my post a bit now, and a bit further later.

What I mean by “post Civil Rights” is more in line with a strain of politics associated with that era. This is not to minimize the movement and its achievements, which have been absolutely crucial for any number of reasons. Rather, I’m interested in how, too often, our politics have remained anchored in a certain era, with few considerations about the progress we’ve made—the advancements we’ve accomplished. Frankly, to suggest that thinking beyond those politics will lead to a reversal of advancements, well, that seems alarmist. Even slippery.

And yes, I’m vague. It’s late, and I’m tired. But I didn’t want your point to go unanswered.

And as for culture wars—they’ll always be present. But many aspects of the ongoing culture war have been in place as a political tool since the Nixon administration. Leonard Pitts said it significantly better, so you might find his column interesting.

Thanks for coming by, and thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...


While appreciated, the kudos are not necessary. The work is not yet done. There are a bevy of "ots" (bigots, zealots, and idiots) to consider, whose race to blackmail, defame and denigrate the President-elect has not ended. And while I think most are best left to die on the vine, some still deserve a modicum of attention. The struggle for truth must never be abandoned.