Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good morning, America, How are you?

I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned, these, my friends- are good times. I won't say I sprang out of bed this morning renewed with purpose and patriotic vigor. But sometime between brushing my teeth and slipping on my jacket to brave the damp beyond and meet a friend for coffee... when I was awake enough to remember that we elected a new president last night, I smiled. And I felt better than I had the day before.

Now I know that's not saying much given my usual state of unemployed paralysis, but it's a start. I feel really proud, actually. I feel like the scale of Obama's accomplishment is massive. I'm excited by so much of his vision, but most of all that he empowered millions of people to feel a sense of ownership of our country. In some ways I hate to reduce it to business principles, but I have to admit that this is the best example of creating "buy-in" that I've ever seen. He launched an aggressive, multi-generational marketing campaign that left no person behind. He created a web and multi-media presence that spoke to the generation that speaks in txt msgs and uses the newspaper to line the litter box. For those who were coming of voting age, the seamless branding of Obama's campaign was familiar and emblematic like Nike or Ecko... a part of their burgeoning identity. He didn't forget about the moms... and dads, for that matter- that are the new generation of boomers. He tapped into their passion for their children and enlisted them as neighborhood organizers. And in spreading his message, they felt empowered. And throughout his courtship of these younger generations, most importantly, he didn't neglect those that came before us. He spoke to issues that plague the sandwich generation and the elders of our country. His vision gained a foothold with this last, vital group, in its excitement for the future. Speaking in terms that convey promise and longevity, a renewal of our basic goals and ideals, and ultimately a refusal to submit to an "inevitable" future. This empowered the people who had worked forty... fifty years of their lives and weren't prepared to just stop contributing to society because they became eligible for retirement or social security.

This type of comprehensive... holistic approach to seeing America- is what we need. This appreciation for and understanding of diversity is what elected Barack Obama president. And his careful, considerate, and eloquent delivery of his very important message, is what will carry our country, on a sea of raised hands, to a new and inspiring place.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely, I agree completely, I felt the same way...except...

Except for the small shadow cast by Obama's refusal to acknowledge that homosexuals should have the same right to marry as straight folks. Because for me, all the talk about inclusiveness and diversity and equality and community and brotherhood is just a bit tainted by the one big EXCEPT. Because it is no one left behind...EXCEPT if you are a homosexual in a committed relationship and you want to marry and be acknowledged in your own country. Then you get to have separate but, "no really, we swear" equal.

I'm not stupid, I know there have to be some sacrifices and considerations made to get elected to national office, especially if you are the underdog. America isn't for gay marriage right now, as witnessed by the results of all the ballot measures. And in the end, I am very glad that he was elected and think it was a totally appropriate and necessary sacrifice to make. But please excuse me if I take all of the sweeping speeches with a grain of salt.

Whew...sorry to be such a bummer. I'm happy too, really! I guess I just had to vent. Whatever, my marriage is Canadian and nobody but the Canadians can take that away from me!


Salty said...

You know, I completely agree with you. I think that there are several issues there were on the ballot (state to state) that failed and demonstrate that we're still a significant distance from a perfect world. (Not to even begin to imagine that a perfect world is attainable, but more specifically that everyone can enjoy the same basic rights and guaranteed freedoms.)
I think the presidential election is a less-than-perfect place to make sweeping changes and that a lot of the issues that we're struggling with (death with dignity, gay rights, legalization of drugs, etc.) will have to be battled out on a smaller stage before they hit the jackpot that is a national movement.
We have a long way to go, but I think we're headed in the right direction. Perhaps that would have been a more accurate way to describe the positivity I'm feeling... in my mind it's kind of like that saying about losing the battle but winning the war. I don't like to think about government in those terms exactly, but I think with Obama at the helm, our national strategy for change has been bolstered and that with the right people mobilized and empowered by that direction- we have a better shot at realizing our goals state to state and eventually nation-wide.