There was a time, not all that long ago (I'm not THAT old), when the victory of someone like Barack Obama might have sent me out into the street to rejoice. What a breath of fresh air! A man who really embraces "change" and knows that we all "hope" for a better future. He's young, he's amiable, he's got a beautiful family. So what if he's going to raise taxes for 5% of the country; look what he's going to do for the rest!
So what's my problem?
It's not that I've suddenly become a card-carrying Republican. In fact, I don't feel that I belong in either of the major parties anymore. It's definitely not race, because I think this should be viewed as the victory of the right man, not merely the black man. I am a little worried about that top 5% thing, because my husband just happens to be a hard-working, successful professional who is creeping closer to that magic number. And because we are by no means "rich," taxing us as though we were might have drastic consequences.
Nevertheless, that's not the real problem either. At my core, I am a product of the working class and all it stands for, so if it's my family's duty to "be more patriotic" and pay more taxes, I can try to embrace that.
Yet, after this momentous victory, I don't feel victorious. I feel...hollow. And I'm upset that I feel that way. So many people around me are talking about the dawning of a new day, a great time for change, a time when we can restore our significant place in the world and in history. Believe me, I pray that all of those ideas become a reality. I also pray that our economy recovers, that we're able to create new jobs that will make us world leaders and that we never again fall victims to a terrorist attack.
Obama talks about all of these things, and I want with all my heart to shout, "Yes, we can!" But I can't find depth in his words. I can't visualize his plans. I can't feel the magic.
Maybe I'm trying too hard. Maybe I'm not cerebral enough to truly comprehend all this man is promising to do. Maybe, just maybe, I am a little slow coming out of the gate. Perhaps, like doubting Thomas, I need to see with my own eyes what the man can do before I can believe.
If that's the case, then I'll eagerly await January 20, 2009 and the Obama presidency. In the meantime, I'll just keep trying to feel that magic.