America, I am just blown away today.
Living in a border town like Vancouver, and having bothe friends and family living in the United States - not least of all my brother in Arizona - I take what is perhaps an inordinate interest in the goings-on down south of the border. For essentially all of my adult life, this interest has yielded a combination of horror, consternation, outrage and extreme disappointment. For the past eight years, I have seen the American people fall victim to those who appeal to the very worst in their natures: Hatred, cynicism, xenophobia, greed, and terror. For such a long time, I have thought that the very best of America was merely apathetic towards evil, and the rest were active if unwitting participants.
But yesterday, by gum, you proved me wrong. And I have seldom been so very, very happy to be proven wrong.
At long last, you embraced hope, and peace, and love and joy instead of fear and anger and chauvinism and rage. At long last, you showed - in vast, overwhelming numbers, that when you are given a genuine and clear choice between the two, you made the right choice. You lived up to your highest ideals instead of giving in to your worst vices. You chose to embrace muticulturalism instead of sneering with contempt at the rest of the world. You chose no longer to be the villains that the political establishment you've had for the past thirty years or so have tried to make you; you chose to actually, genuinely be the good people that you always hoped and wanted to be.
You have no idea how my heart soars at it. There are and have been such powerful, well-placed and deeply-entrenched forces who have worked so hard to make you nothing but indifferent creatures of the military-industrial complex that you were warned about by your president Eisenhower. They have deployed such tactics of fear and agression and ego-stroking and distraction to keep you where they wanted you. And it would have been SO easy for you to just keep letting them make you what they needed you to be. But this time, you guys looked hard at these people, and what they wanted you to be, and you said "No. No more. That's not who we are. That's not who we choose to be." I had wondered if you even had it in you anymore, but this - this SWEEPING repudiation of the past eight years - shows me that, YES, you do. And I just love you for it.
You folks have so much to be proud of today. I'm sure that you've heard about the celebrations which have broken out across the world, and know that we are celebrating all of YOU as much as - if not more than - President-Elect Obama.
Congratulations, America. And from the very bottom of my heart, thank you for proving me wrong.
(cross-posted to atheistofftopic)