Little Blue Spruce

4 November 2008

Election Day

As I write this, it’s over.  Finally, what has seemed like the campaign that would never end—has ended.  And while my opinions have never aligned with one party or another very well, I find myself pleased with the results.  I didn’t take any photos of things red, white and blue, today.  But, I did shoot this neat photo of a little blue spruce tree that stands in a planter outside our local Olive Garden restaurant where I had lunch with Stephen, today.  It seemed happy and healthy and showed signs of newness and growth.  I hope that is representative of what my country has in store under a new president.

I have just listened to John McCain, rather graciously concede victory in the US Presidential election, to Barack Obama.  And now, President-elect Obama is taking the stage in Chicago.

As he addresses our nation, and speaks of the “answer” given tonight that put him on that stage:

“It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native Amerian, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled—americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states; we are and always will be the United States of America.”

And that’s just the way the speech started!  It got better from there. He was eloquent and gracious, confident and yet humble.  He quoted Abraham Lincoln.  He gave a very classy acknowledgement to McCain and Palin.  He spoke to those who did not vote for him and said, “I hear your voices and I will be your president, too.”  He spoke to those in other parts of the world of how we will have a strong America.  One favourite quote of mine was, “We cannot have a thriving Wall Street, while Main Street suffers.”

He wrapped up this uplifting Victory speech with what he called one of many stories that would come out of this election—the story of a 106-year-old woman who voted today by touching a screen in Atlanta.  He spoke of how this woman was born into a world where she could not vote for two reasons—because she was a woman, and because of the colour of her skin.  He spoke of how much change she has seen in her lifetime; how she has lived through the best of times, and the darkest hours.  And he asked his listeners to consider just how much change today’s children will see.  As he spoke, his words created an emotional call and response, and his audience obliged perfectly.   The repeated response:  “Yes, we can!”

It’s an inspiring speech, almost guaranteed to bring tears to most eyes.  It is subdued, yet celebratory.  In a word:  dignified.  Here’s the link for those who missed watching it live:

http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/speeches/obama-victory-speech.html#

At least seven states are flipping from red to blue.  Democrats have picked up seats in Congress, although not as many as they’d hoped.  The analysts are predicting a Cabinet that crosses party lines.  And, in my view, perhaps the most important thing is that Alaska gets to keep the crazy lady.

~MB