I Got Chills, They’re Multiplyin’…

November 5, 2008 at 3:39 am (Uncategorized)

Ohio! Go, son, go! I just went to the CNN website and the headline gave me goosebumps: ‘Red States Turning Blue on U.S. Map.’ 

I admit I get emotional on days like today. I only had to think oh so briefly about what it means, for Americans, for the rest of the world, and for the health of the American Dream that Obama’s ahead and on target before the salt got in my eyes. Americans are stepping up. They’re optimists, they’re idealists, and they’re stepping up. I can’t be the only whatever the hell I am – democratically minded liberal humanist, if you want to throw a label my way – with a lump in my throat watching these results come in. It vindicates the only faith I have, which unlike that of many Americans across the political spectrum is not religious in nature. I do understand their fervour, I do, because I feel just as passionately about what I believe, which is that people are never so different, and that in general and in essence, they’re good. They’re trying. They want things to be better for their children. They want to believe in themselves. Don’t we all? Don’t we all hope? Of course we do. We celebrate, we mourn, we make mistakes, we fall in love, we do our best, and we hope. 

I remember when we saw Don Watson speak at the Lowy Lunch a couple of months ago, talking about his new book American Journeys, he said that he thought after travelling the US for several months that Obama was going to lose the election. He said he didn’t want to believe it, but the conclusion was there to be drawn. He said he hoped he was wrong, and I thought, “Me too.” His words have haunted me since. I’ve heard them rattling around in a corner of my mind, niggling at me, chasing my faith down. Gnawing at my optimism. And yet here we are, on this historic day, and here she comes: America. I should never have doubted her. We haven’t reached the end of this nail-biting day, but I’m feeling good, and I have faith.


POSTSCRIPT: we backed the winner, all right. What a moment in history. Since we don’t have a TV, I ran down to the nearest pub just in time to see Obama’s live acceptance speech. How sweet it is.



  1. Pete said,

    Me too – I was totally choked up. Ohio! Pennsylvania! Virginia! I loved the way the networks all called it within seconds of each other. What a day!

  2. Barcelona Food Girl said,

    I fell asleep at 3am in Barcelona (about 9pm EST), clutching my laptop and hoping for the best. The first thing I did on waking a few hours later was turn on my computer to check the results. I went to a few websites to assure myself that it was true before bursting into tears. I have been crying or holding back tears nearly all day today…but then again, I’ve been pretty weepy all week. Check out some tear jerking moments from the campaign here: http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=37322.

  3. doctordi said,

    Pete, I cried sitting alone at a table in a public bar watching Obama’s acceptance speech. In normal circumstances that would have been a pretty sorry picture, but yesterday it was all good. There was a table of three young American men at the table next to mine and we all watched in what can only be described as an awestruck silence as Obama walked up to meet his destiny.

    And just now, BFG, I followed your link and went through the tear-jerking moments, and found myself welling up all over again. I actually let out an audible sob at one point. It’s a new kind of low-level hysteria… I’m on a hair-trigger! It’s just so wonderful.

  4. Catherine said,

    My understanding of politics can be described as basic, at best, but I found that even I was watching and waiting, and shed a tiny happy tear at the news. It just feels right.

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