I am sure many, many of you share (I can think of at least 10 of you offhand) or indeed surpass my enthusiasm for the goings on of last night.
So I am here to party with you, because I keep having to tamp it down in real life.
Many of my Orthodox neighbors are nervous. My own husband, who decided less than a week before the election who he was voting for, posted his facebook status as “melancholy” after the results, then changed it to “indifferent” this morning. John McCain was touted as being better for Israel, you see, and so the election of Barack Obama makes people freak out a little bit. And the fact that McCain got the “endorsement” of Al Qaeda? That doesn’t make people a little leery?
Bush managed to be a friend to Israel by leaving it the hell alone. Seriously, he didn’t visit Israel until seven years into his term. Bill Clinton took the opposite tack and tried desperately to make everyone in the Middle East sing Kumbaya. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well. Here’s how I feel about it: The history in that region of the world goes back thousands of years. A single US president who thinks that he has the power, either through involvement or non-involvement, to have a major impact on the region has just not studied up. There have been successful facilitations when the parties are willing. But right now Israel and the PA and the Syrians all have their own shit to work out (amongst themselves and each other) before they can seriously consider installing the long-lasting peace agreements that Israel has with Jordan or Egypt. Again, this is my opinion and I absolutely know very little about it.
Anyway, I’ve managed to find some pockets of women like me. We all happen to be in the same book club; most of us either didn’t grow up religious or are in some kind of academic field or or didn’t grow up in or around NYC. So the past two meetings have led to some quiet meditations on Obama being the only choice that wasn’t a fucking nightmare.
When my neighbors voted for McCain or very, very hesitantly pulled the lever for Obama, I think they might have been reacting fearfully. Fear of the economy tanking, summer nightmares of $4.25/gal gas, fear of becoming further enmeshed in war, fear of change, perhaps.
I suppose I also had fears: mostly about what the Supreme Court would look like in 2012.
I told Taxman that he can’t fully appreciate the significance of the Obama administration because white men in this country have never not had the power. But as a woman, I can. I vote because in 1919 I wouldn’t have been able to do so. I voted in the 1994 midterm elections, when I was 19, because if I were a generation older I would have had to wait until I was 21. So the idea that an African American President, a student of Constitutional law to boot, could be appointing women or men that would uphold Roe v. Wade? Who appears to understand that the government checks and balances are in place for a reason, not to rubber stamp every notion that the President Vice President thinks is good for America?
I AM SO THERE.
Am I making any sense? (I am very tired. More than usual.)
Just there was a lot at stake, I think, on a meta-level. And I personally think we, America, passed the test on a meta-level. Now my mom can stop worrying about whether my dad (her ex-husband of 31 years) was going to vote for Obama. (Duh, Mom, of course he did.)
What ideas kept you on the train?