The OF Blog: Hope is a four letter word, too

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hope is a four letter word, too

It is almost midnight as I begin writing this. In a little over five hours, I will wake up, groggy and perhaps bleary-eyed, stumbling from a dream into a waking reality. But tomorrow will dawn on a new day, one that four years ago I could barely hope to see in my lifetime. I remember feeling so down and cynical about the American political process. I recall being despondent about the negativity and the xenophobia that sprung up like mushrooms in the dark, fetid corners after 9/11. So much talk was about the things that divide and little about the things that unite.

Tonight I hope will mark the beginning of a shift from that fear and distrust. I am an American history teacher and when I go into class tomorrow to talk about the Progressive Age, I can point now to an individual whose message tonight harks back to some of their themes, to their hope for creating a better, more humane American society. Things were not perfect at the turn of the 20th century; they are still far from perfect today. But yet the past few months have seen a sea change in attitudes among quite a few people, both in the U.S. and abroad. I have seen dozens of students wearing Barack Obama t-shirts or John McCain buttons. Never did I hear a cross word between supporters of either candidate, even when the pro-Obama students outnumbered the McCain supporters by more than two-to-one. McCain gave a classy speech tonight, one marred only by the hatred, resentment, and aprehensions of a few. Both he and Obama gave me hope that the two can work together to see the fulfillment of the dreams of those Progressives and their political descendents, the ones who gave us a Square Deal, a New Deal, a New Society, as well as influencing many conservatives over the years to place people above profits.

So while I could ramble on for many more paragraphs about how I plan on tying this historic election of a biracial man to all of the hopes, promises, pitfalls, and tribulations of the multiethnic American people, I'll just close by linking to the opening of Obama's victory speech, as it is more eloquent than what I've said above:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We also have hope here, Larry my friend. Congratulations for you and all the Americans! :-)

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