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I can't believe I lived to see the day

From eleven o’clock last night until noon today, November 4, I’ve been getting calls from friends and relations around the world, calling back, hearing the joy, feeling the relief.  I didn’t go to Grant Park–I’d been working for the campaign in Indiana earlier in the day, and didn’t have the stamina for standing in crowds.  Friends who went were thrilled by the presence of people of all ages, races.  This morning it hit me, finally–I lived to see this day.  My journey began forty-two years ago as a community volunteer on Chicago’s south side.  The white kids in my neighborhood program came from families who worked  hard for civil rights and social justice–and from families that went to Marquette Park to throw bombs and bricks at Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights advocates.  I could not have imagined this day back then, when Barack was five years old.

He faces enormous challenges–a disintegration of civil liberties at home, a global economic crisis not seen since the 1930’s, a Justice Department riddled with pro-torture, anti civil liberties ideologues, an Interior Department riddled with anti-environmental ideologues, and on down the list of the ten thousand federal jobs appointed by the president.  Undoing the massive damage of the last eight years won’t happen overnight, but Barack has the brains and the cool to do the heavy lifting.  I’m exhausted–off to bed for me!  Maybe I’ll write something more coherent later.

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  • The last ten years have made me very cynical, but maybe it’s time to let go and hope that Obama can do some good. It’s been a long time since so many people were this excited about election results, which is a good beginning.

  • corkhead

    Yes, bookwitch, It was amazing to see so many people so excited over an election and you had the feeling that somehow the thought of some change and hope had energised Americans back into believing in themselves and in a new democracy.

    Along with that, of course, comes the huge, almost unrealistic, expectation that Barack Obama can quickly work miracles and undo all the wrongs foisted on the world by the Bush regime and all his buddies.

    I hope that Obama picks his team carefully and makes choices wisely. Will we see Hillary and other experienced women in there somewhere? Let’s hope so.

  • I was checking out your official website and learned about this blog from the forum…how terrific!

    I, too, was absolutely ecstatic when Barack Obama became our new President-elect! I have so much hope, now. I think the first positive result will be that our reputation throughout the world will improve dramatically. And that’s going to be HUGE!

    Great blog, Ms. Paretsky!

  • Obama has already done a vast amount of good, just by being elected. An intellectual, charismatic, idealistic, mixed-race liberal thinker comes from nowhere and gets elected president despite the usual barrage of paranoid xenophobic scare-mongering campaigning?

    If he achieves nothing else, it is already a triumph.

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