Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Post-Election Grace Period of Happiness

The past two days I've awoken not with a sense of dread and foreboding, but the sensation that something good is actually afoot. After the few moments of post-alarm head clearing, I remember that two days ago we booted the rethuglicans from their self-constructed, self-righteous pedestals. I really was preparing myself for the worst possible scenario, and trying to come to terms with what I thought was inevitable, in advance, to ease the oncoming shock.

The levels of hate and vitriol that have been spewing from the mouths of so many accomplished, in the end, not one thing. Dare I say that I'm proud to be an American? The zip code in which I reside — the most ethnically diverse in the nation — is the perfect snapshot of the "new" America that author, journalist, and writer/producer David Simon so eloquently speaks of:

  America will soon belong to the men and women — white and black and Latino and Asian, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, gay and straight — who can comfortably walk into a room and accept with real comfort the sensation that they are in a world of certain difference, that there are no real majorities, only pluralities and coalitions. The America in which it was otherwise is dying, thank god, and those who relied on entitlement and division to command power will either be obliged to accept the changes, or retreat to the gated communities from which they wish to wax nostalgic and brood on political irrelevance. 

Read the full article here.

For me, and for my sons, this is the only world we know.

My sons grew up with straight/poet/agnostic/atheist parents, played with the rabbi's son, acknowledged that the autistic neighbor-child who roamed from house to house was to be watched over, played chess with a lesbian couple, were the minority children in their elementary school, celebrated holidays with their caucasian/African-American cousins, and had friends whose skin tone was never considered.

(Once, while vacationing on the Oregon coast, there were lots of comments about how strange it was that everyone was white.)

It was bad luck — an apartment fire — that plunked us down here, but that "bad luck" transformed itself into the gift of a rich childhood for my boys; rich, that is, in experience. Rich in community, rich in the greater love that comes from a community of diverse individuals who recognize that we're all in this together.

For better or worse, but mostly for the better.

A few days ago I would never have predicted that I'd be writing these words. And perhaps I'm exhibiting a bit of hubris when I say that tonight I feel that everything I've taught my sons has paid off. This country, the planet — is still teetering on the deadly cliffs of self-destruction. But for these few moments, the moments that it takes to compose this blog post — I'm feeling mighty fine.


  1. I'm feeling mighty fine as well. Just think of all the bullets we dodged -- supreme court appointments, dismantling of Affordable Care Act, no end to DOMA, and extented tax cuts for the uber rich. I know there will be times when the President disappoints me, but he has us heading in the right direction.

    I just wish the GOP/FOX groups would stop nashing their teeth all call for unity. Not. Gonna. Happen.

  2. Over here, the media are suggesting that you definitely elected the RIGHT man, but not necessarily for the good of your economy. Only time will tell.

  3. Dear T, i love this post so much. It was people like you and your sons who prevailed. I'm going to live in that mighty fine space with you, and not allow my elation to be pricked by the screeds of hate spilling from the right.

    Obama has a tough road ahead. We can be sure it will not always feel so transcendent. But I trust the man. I trust his heart and mind and will. I'm right there.

  4. I've waited a life time; I'm savoring the rightness.

  5. I am encouraged by our country, that we elected and also re-elected President Obama, but the social transformation is gradual and ongoing, and the remaining problems are profound. But the way I feel about feeling good is, just enjoy it. thanks, sp

  6. This morning I was thinking that I was feeing just about 'normal' for the first time since Sandy first blew into the Atlantic. This is followed by, "But so many people are still suffering, are still even just cleaning up if they're lucky enough to have a home standing to clean, and so many who just got back their lights are now without them again thanks to the nor'wester."

    Then I realized: this election is finally over, and we have another four-year reprieve.

    It's taken a long time for me to believe this horror show -- and I'm not exaggerating for effect, I'm not exaggerating at all -- is concluded. And judging just by my own long voters' line, it was concluded by a huge number of truly discounted or ignored voters, who indeed are still being ignored by the media and pundits analyzing the vote and why it went the way it went in so many states: the latina voter. She voted in huge numbers, and she isn't even thought about in the terms in the pundits.

    It turns out that indeed there was a 12-point gender gap: 75% of
    Latino women voted for Obama, but only 63% of Latino men.

    This is extremely meaningful, particularly with the aggression displayed against all women by the party of the guy who lost.

    Love, C.

  7. I don't know if we have a reprieve or simply a pause as the righting regroups with a new spin on their old views. I wish the President good fortune but with a divided congress and a heap of econ problems I don't expect much progress.

    Ethnicity, skin color, minority or majority ... none of that will be a significant offset to the traditions of greed, power, hate and corruption.