Belated Obama clichés

Fowler, Brighton

Somewhat reluctantly, I am writing about the election. Not entirely reluctantly, but what I mean is that I think my opinion is too biased and one-sided to say anything that is going to do justice to the historic events of last week. So instead, I am going to throw out some patriotic clichés, such as, “Today I’m proud to be an American,” “I have hope in this country,” “United we stand, divided we fall” and my personal favorite, “Make love not war.”
Though I worry it will fall as flat as the others, what I really want to say is the Obama campaign’s victory is a victory for all of us. I saw grown men cry last Tuesday night, and not just on national television. My roommate must have hugged me ten times the next morning in pure joy and disbelief. A once unknown black Senator from Chicago is our president-elect.
Things have certainly changed.
I remember that during the last election I was in Italy — tough life, I know. Anyway, when the results were finally tallied and we eventually got word in Europe by December, the poor Italians were completely miffed, as well as sexy and utterly too fashionable for their own good.
“Per que Bush?!” they asked me over and over again. My sweet friend Justine tried to explain, in the best intermediary Italian she could muster, how our country was divided, red and blue, and that some people actually liked President Bush, that some people thought he was going to protect our country from terrorists and that he was the stronger and better man for the job. Basically, that some Americans were very confused.
Of course, the Italians didn’t really understand this half-hearted justification in broken Italian, and from then on, I hid my citizenship. I was “Brittney” from Ottawa, Canada. This is actually my pseudo name whenever I travel out of the country, for both safety and popularity purposes.
But no more will I have to lie about my nationality! No, today I will shrug the shroud of my false Canadian heritage, and whenever I travel, and in whatever company — except still in some parts of the Middle East and Asia — I will declare myself an American citizen, born and raised among the maple groves of the great, green, united state of Vermont, and proud of it!
I swear to you, I tried very hard not to get overly invested in this election. My mother can attest to this, when I self-righteously declared to her after a summer in the wilderness that Barack was simply just another politician, spouting the same democratic rhetoric, not to be trusted, just like all the rest before him! But, alas, my forces of resistance could not withstand the sweet sound of that charismatic and authentic voice, telling me over and over again that things could, and would be different.
I know I’ve said this before, but I must say it again: things have been really screwed up in the country for a long, long time. I’m not na’ve, I don’t think everything is going to magically change in a blink of an eye just because we have improved leadership, but I do think this could be the beginning of something better.
I truly am sorry for those of you whose dreams of Sarah Palin as Vice President were dashed on the rocks when John McCain so eloquently conceded in Arizona. Take some time. I’m sure the health center is going to run some sort of support group for Republicans. OK, that was harsh. But really, don’t worry too much. It’s like any kind of loss or disappointment. You eat some ice cream, find a flicker of light in the midst of all this darkness — hey, medicinal marijuana was legalized in Michigan — and then you get with the program of unity, and hopefully Florida won’t be under water in 30 years. Fellow Lawrentians, America is back in the black — and I’m not just talking about the stock market — and it’s never been sexier.