Watching the returns come in on Tuesday was exhilarating. Ryan and I sat on the couch in front of the laptop, refreshing CNN every 30 seconds or so. Around 9:00 p.m., I turned on the little TV and we watched everything unfold. We were nervous until Obama clinched California, and then we started to realize what was actually happening.
We had voted earlier that evening. Our polling place is a small neighborhood church right around the corner from our house, within walking distance. It was a gorgeous, balmy evening, and on the way home I remarked how I had just voted for our next President.
Later, as we were watching Obama's victory speech, Ryan and I both choked up and got a little teary. We were deeply moved by his words. Ryan commented that he hoped this historically important day would help this country begin healing from the 400 year old rift that has been the cause of so much pain for so many people.
In the few days since the election, I've had some heated arguments with my co-workers. We're a divided office and I am often out-numbered. The card-carrying Republicans I work with are not happy about the election results. In fact, they think this is the beginning of the end of the world, acting as if Armageddon is inevitable and right around the corner.
Now, my office is pretty laid back. It's a small office of about 10 people or so, and we often call ourselves a dysfunctional family. Everyone is in everyone else's business, and yes, we call ourselves friends. But some topics around the office are definitely bones of contention. Politics is one of them. In the last two days, I've been called Socialist, Communist, lazy, and ignorant, among other things.
My response to that was "walk a mile in my shoes and then make a judgment call."
Politics can do nasty things to people, but in the last several months it has also ignited a certain fire. My greatest hope, however, is that once people get over themselves, and once Obama starts implementing the great ideas he's told us about, we'll all be better off.