Yes We Can

I’m struggling with what to say. I haven’t written about politics here in a long time, not like I used to, because my disgust was too great or it just hurt too much.

This past year, I’ve been anxious, unwilling to admit that the feeling I had was hope, that this time things might be different, that the monster years might actually end. Because what if it wasn’t different this time?

Something else I haven’t wanted to admit: listening to Barack Obama speak can make me cry. It seems pointless, naive, even stupid to think a politician (a politician of all people!) can inspire positive change – but now I know Barack Obama can. Whatever he does or doesn’t get done in office, Obama has given so many of us back the belief that change is possible on a large scale and that we can make it happen.

But change, like the future, is unevenly distributed. California voted to ban same-sex marriage last night, even as it helped propel Obama to victory with its 55 electoral college votes. Change happens: sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

Still, I feel like I won last night, that we all won, that real people – not celebrity endorsers or fictitious everymen – real people went to the polls in droves and said, enough. Enough with the fear and the suspicion and no real plan fix any of the messes we are in, enough. Let’s try something new. Let’s change.

Listening to Obama’s speech last night was inspiring. Yes, it made me cry. I was still thinking about his speech this morning when I realized: I’m the first person in my family to go to college. I’m a happily and legally married lesbian. Yesterday I voted for Barack Obama, and he’s going to be the first black man to be President of the United States. And I’m not even forty yet. Change happens.

Yes we can.