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Election Night 2008

It is difficult to describe the feelings of Tuesday night.  Anxiety and relief, anticipation and celebration, confidence and doubt, joy and yearning all warring with each other throughout the evening.  Would Obama win?  Would the voting be so close that the Supreme Court would again have to decide?  If Barack was victorious, would he be able to carry the tremendous burden of expectation being placed on his shoulders?  Was McCain really already congratulating Obama on his victory?  But the prevailing sentiment for those watching the dozens of TVs scattered around the House of Blues was wonderment.  To witness a moment of such historical significance has unforgettable power, rooting itself into our being and offering a taste of something that progressively-minded folks haven't felt for many years:  a deep, patriotic pride and hope for America.  Not because of an anticipation of future change, but in the experience of an irrefutable revolution that was occurring in that moment.  The electorate spoke unanimously against the politics of fear, selfishness and hatred in favor of their dream in an untested possibility.  In one soaring moment the people of the United States raised the symbol of an oppressed minority to the highest office in the land, and along with him raised a tremendous opportunity for peace, healing and emancipation of the American spirit.  That is really something in itself.  How we spend the currency of that choice will test our resolve, but it is ours to spend.  All around the globe a newfound optimism about America's leadership and her people encourages us to believe in something greater than tax cuts for the wealthy and war mongering, greater than rigid adherence to one religious view and prejudice against all others, greater than the bullying arrogance with which the ignorant and fearful are destined to govern.  

For me, Tuesday, November 4, 2008 will stand alone.  It will not require a series of successes from the Obama Administration over the next four to eight years to justify its value.  Its importance cannot be undone.  At the same time, I anticipate the momentum of this movement will answer the challenges of our time with inclusion, insight and compassion.  These qualities have been so lacking in recent years that any improvement will have tremendous impact.  But I expect that, more than incremental advances, a progressive revolution will translate into fundamental shifts in the way we do business, help the underprivileged, treasure our natural environments and conduct foreign policy.  Not because the U.S. government has changed hands, but because a majority of the American people have finally begun to wake up from a long, disinterested sleep.  With horns honking and flags waiving, there is at long last a revived sense that we the people are empowered, and that we can use that power to rectify ills of the recent past and build a better life for ourselves, each other and our friends across the Earth.  If we consciously maintain that belief, our voice and vision will become an unstoppable force of Nature;  if we keep paying attention, the special interests, payola politicians, disinformation demagogues and corporate good-old-boys will be forced to relinquish their desperate, self-serving grip on the wheels of change.  If and again, if.

Such are the optimistic projections three days after winning an election.  But regardless of the eventual outcome, regardless of the inevitable successes or failures ahead, this victory is larger than any one individual, party or system of beliefs.  It is as large as the hope and promise that fills our hearts; as large as the Light beyond comprehension that overcomes all darkness within and without.  It is a critical milestone in the evolution of human society.  Let us remember this throughout whatever trials may lie ahead.

- T.Collins Logan, November 2008




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