I think I can sum up my reaction to the election in three words:
Thank. Fucking. God.
I was worried about voting machines and long lines and the underlying theorem of American politics: Never underestimate stupid scared white people.
But the electoral votes gradually built up for Barack and I feel like I can exhale. I think Obama has an opportunity to be a leader on the magnitude of FDR and help to re-fortify the nation on a financial, moral and social level. I’ll be curious to see if he takes the bull by the balls and brings in the change you can believe in and the change you can’t believe until it happens.
Rachel Maddow had brought up a very important point in her interview with Obama where she noted that he did not build his campaign to run against conservatism. He didn’t run against an ideology but against specific individuals. And that maybe he is less of a ‘movement’ as people would like to see. Regardless it worked and I feel like the world will be a better place.
I am very pleased to see a family of color as the first family. I think it sends such a bright message to kids of all shades that there is a place for education and hope. Evidently the national adrenal glands have been burnt out and fear-mongering isn’t going to be effective for a few decades.
I think in a year we’ll look back and see that Obama as really been a Clinton-style centrist approach with a few nods to social safety nets and re-establishing economic stability in the country. I don’t think he’ll be starting any new wars – sweet Lord I hope not.
I feel like another piece of the ‘reconciling the past’ puzzle has been put into place.
And how refreshing is it to hear people not chanting U! S! A! but ‘Yes we can.’
I was planning on packing all last night for the move and then cleaning all tonight and then Ron and his mom coming in on Thursday and then we move on Friday. It was going to be nice and smooth and coordinated because I was doing all of it myself with no labor/management-style conflicts.
Then I get a text message yesterday afternoon from Ron that they’ve just landed. Part of me hopes that just means they landed in Hong Kong and they get back on Thursday. But a phone call confirmed that they were in transit and on their way to the house which was a complete mess of laundry and unwashed dishes.
Luckily Ron slept all day and his mom spent a lot of time emailing relatives and calling state-side siblings.
They have some absolutely wonderful photos from the trip that Ron will probably be posting to his Facebook account. He said last night in the shower ‘We are so lucky. Life over there is so hard.’ They had a prayer service for Ron’s grandmother in the house. Her four servants were still on the grounds – they had bathed her and prepared her for the funeral when she passed away many years ago. The entire village was ecstatic to see Ron and his mother. He caught up with friends from pre-school and his mom got to play mah jong with her extended family. There’s a certain amount of continuity there that I think hits you over the head. Nobody will go down to the bathroom at night because there’s so many ghosts on the first floor. The estate had been an outpost for the Japanese in World War II and supposedly prisoners had died on the grounds. Then Ron said he saw his grandmother’s ghost a few times.
Picture after picture of guava, mango, papaya, cacao, coffee beans… you’ll see. Oh and the market where they have buckets with live frogs or mudfish that they smack against a pole to knock them out before cleaning them.
He even came back with a t-shirt that says: 100% Pinoy.
As if there was ever any doubt.