I’m having a hard time expressing in words how I feel right now. On the one hand, the election of Barack Obama is one of the great moments in our nation’s history. As my mother said last night “Save your papers tomorrow morning to pass on to your children and grandchildren.” Obama’s landslide victory serves as a mirror-image and bookend of sorts to the last American experience that was this universal and emotionally-resonant, 9/11. The dreadful shadow of fear, confusion, and anger that has defined the last seven years has given way to a new sense of unity, optimism, and patriotism. It’s been a privilege to be a part of this moment.
With so many great things to say about this election, I can’t help but dwell on the fact that Prop. 8 has passed. The fact that this failure was in “liberal” California was a crushing blow. Through shameful propaganda and the inadvertent assistance of the mushy-mouthed Democrats who tried to straddle both sides of this issue (I’m looking at you, Barack), bigotry has been enshrined into our state constitution. Thousands of marriages are going to be nullified because a slim majority of insecure strangers want their discomfort about homosexuality to be codified into law.
It’s hard to celebrate an Obama victory with this stunning reminder that Americans can still be small and bitter and hateful and cruel.