Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Danced, We Wept, We Rejoiced

8:30 PM PST, Mission District, San Francisco, CA:

I wasn't in front of a TV, but I could hear the shouts through the window, notifying me that we had a new president and that his name was Obama. I was not prepared however for what I would witness when I stepped out into the street.


People of all ages and colors ecstatic. Joyous war whoops. Shouts of "U-S-A!!!".

Every passing car honking- people hanging out the windows screaming themselves horse.

I walk down to the corner store to buy a drink. The TV is on. Half a dozen or so black and Latino teenagers staring at it silently. Dumbfounded.

I continue down the street to 19th and Valencia, hundreds of people clogging the intersection blocking traffic in an impromptu block party.

People waving flags, banging pots and pans, dancing, embracing, weeping, reveling.

Countless cameras flashing.

Everyone's on the phone, sharing in the beauty of this moment with those that can't be here.

A lone trumpeter begins to play the star-spangled banner. Within seconds the whole crowd joins in. Erupting into raucous applause upon conclusion.

More crying.

Fireworks exploding.

Some guy on the corner shouting into a bullhorn, "Barrack Obama has made history" over and over again.

All of this swelling into an orgiastic cacophony of exuberant goodwill toward man.

This is the sound of passengers taking the wheel back from the drunken captain that had nearly lost the ship.

From what I can gather This scene was mirrored all over the country tonight. Has there ever been this intense an initial reaction to the outcome of an election? I don't believe there has.

Let's be clear though. This is just preface. The grown-ups may be back in charge, but there is quite a mess yet to clean. And as tempting as it may be to stick it to those who only a few years ago proclaimed the inevitability of permanent republican majority, doing so will solve nothing. America stands at a crossroads. This is one of the most important times in our relatively brief history. Let us not squander this opportunity.