Today, I awoke to a new dawn in America.
I just witnessed history. An election that in all of its flaws and personal attacks opened new doors to Americans that were sealed tightly before last night, before the last two years. I watched an election where Hillary Clinton, and then, Sarah Palin, opened doors that were slammed shut on the likes of Geraldine Ferraro 24 years ago.
An America hardly removed from its history of slavery and state-mandated segregation, from the denial of voting rights to voiceless millions, that America. The same one that elected Barack Obama president last night. I had to pinch myself, during his victory speech, just to make sure, just to believe it was all real.
Yeah, tears have spilled, but I am, always will be, and always have been emotional. Last night, today, though, I felt like I wasn’t alone. I felt strangely proud to be an American, like I don’t think I have ever felt. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here, I donned the uniform of this country’s military, I’m no slouch (depending on who you ask) but last night, last night was different. It was new. It was as real as it gets.
In 100 years, or 200 years, like Barack said, this will be a moment remembered. I always liked him, but early on I was under no delusions, as Barack himself wasn’t. He said last night that he wasn’t the likeliest of candidates, I didn’t think he was either. I thought that the Clinton Machine would outmatch him, especially when it came to fund-raising. The good ol’ boy network kowtows to the Dem line like it does the Republican line, though a bit differently, admittedly. But I watched the impossible become possible. I watched a movement prove me wrong. I’ve never been happier to have been wrong.
Barack is like a late addition to the Populist moment in America, something that should have happened long ago, many decades ago. Well, here we are. I fear that the words I write cannot do the moment justice but future generations will know we recognized the gravity of the moment, even if it wasn’t spent when, where or with whom we would have liked it to be. It’s a moment, nonetheless, of epic and historic proportions.
This morning, it’s morning in American again, and I couldn’t be happier or prouder to have been a part of it.
Article written by Andy McMurray a freelance writer and photographer based in DeKalb, Illinois. He has worked at DeKalb’s Daily Chronicle, The Midweek, and the Northern Illinois University newspaper, the Northern Star. Known variously around the Internet as Dr. Gonzo or IvoShandor, Andy’s wide ranging interests and knowledge in history, architecture, historic preservation, art and science have allowed McMurray to excel in penning both fiction and non-fiction pieces. In addition to pursuing a fiction career Andy has written and photographed extensively for English Wikipedia. http://www.AndyMcMurray.com
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