What a day yesterday was.
For my wife and I, it started at 4 AM. My wife was the canvas captain for the Airport Township for the Obama campaign. Meanwhile I was in charge of watching our four year old son until my mother finished voting and running errands so that she could watch him. I took Isaac to vote with me at 8 AM. The line was an hour long, but everyone near me was so excited to be there ready to vote. The couple in front of me were voting for the first time; they had just recently become citizens.
When I cast my vote, I couldn't be prouder. My son helped me by pushing confirm on every screen. Thirty years from now he will be able to tell his children he helped elect our first black president.
Afterward I helped a friend get to the staging location and took Isaac to my mother's. I heard word of a couple voter intimidation incidents and attempts by poll workers to keep people from voting by violating the law and attempting to require multiple forms of ID. These were quickly stopped by the volunteer lawyers and other Obama volunteers. That afternoon I canvased with several other Obama volunteers. Every house I went to the people had already voted. People seeing us on the street honked in encouragement or cheered the Obama tees we had on. There were even victory parties being started at 4PM.
Then came the hardest time. After 6PM it was too late to go out canvasing any more. We all met back up at the staging location and prepared to go out to help with long lines. While there were some long lines closer to St. Louis City (300 people still in line two hours after polls closed), every voting location in our township had almost no lines and we began to worry that not enough people voted.
When Pennsylvania was called for Obama at 6, we began to be hopeful; one of the four legs of McCain's victory path had been knocked out from under him. After polls closed at 7PM we broke up and many of the volunteers went to the watch party downtown while my wife and I, having been sick for the past couple weeks, went to get our son and headed home.
On the way, Ohio was finally called and I knew Obama would be our next president. Barack's message of hope and inclusion won out over McCain's calls for hate and division.
Now, as I said in my last post, the real work begins. After eight years of divisive politics, of trying to call one group more or less patriotic than another, we must unify. "And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too." We are one country, INDIVISIBLE; we will, we MUST work together to bring our country out of the troubles that face us now.
As I said on Twitter last night: To all the staunch conservatives: Throw away the straw men and wait to see what really happens before judging Obama's presidency. To all the staunch progressives: Obama was always center left. You will not get all you want, but our country will be better than ever. This country has always been a country of moderates. When Bush attempted to take the country too far right the people spoke up in 2006 and again this year. Should Obama attempt to do the opposite they will speak up again. This must be a time of cooperation and compromise or it will always be three steps back for every step forward.