November 5, 2008

History in the Making


You know, as wild as all of this is, I’m really just trying to absorb it all right now. The implications of today are just so immense. It makes me appreciate Martin Luther King Junior to such a great extent. What he did for this present moment in history was so key, and look at us now. 2008, and in 76 short days, we will have a Black&White House. It’s weird shifting from the “imagine” and “hope” mentality to the “oh shiz, it’s here” mentality. Most of my conscious life has been spent under a president I haven’t really appreciated much, so this is going to be something new. This is going to be something I tell my kids. This is going to be something special. This is something special.

A civil war that, in many ways, began at Bull Run, Virginia, on July 21, 1861, ended 147 years later via a ballot box in the very same state. For nothing more symbolically illustrated the final chapter of America’s Civil War than the fact that the Commonwealth of Virginia — the state that once exalted slavery and whose secession from the Union in 1861 gave the Confederacy both strategic weight and its commanding general — voted Democratic, thus assuring that Barack Obama would become the 44th president of the United States.

- “Finishing Our Work,” by Thomas L. Friedman, November 4, 2008

What boggles me most is Obama’s family history. His parents have been dead since before his 2004 DNC Address. His grandmother passed just before not only his greatest moment, but also quite possibly the country’s. We haven’t seen any of his siblings (or maybe we have and I haven’t followed well enough) throughout his campaign trail. His drive has got to be coming from the heart because there’s so few other outlets. Who’s he fighting to impress? There’s no, “Look ma, I did it!” I can’t imagine having moments like the one he just had tonight without the family I grew up with there with me. I don’t know what to make of it, but I think that makes him so much more impressive.

Congratulations, Barack. Please don’t stop sending me emails (even if David Plouffe is writing them). It makes me feel like we’re bros. We’d pound it if I ever met you.

Looking forward to enjoying the next four years.

My gut tells me that of all the changes that will be ushered in by an Obama presidency, breaking with our racial past may turn out to be the least of them. There is just so much work to be done. The Civil War is over. Let reconstruction begin.

- Thomas L. Friedman

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