Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Yes we did!
Last night on Capitol Hill, at the intersection of Broadway and Pike, there was a rally the likes of which I'd never seen. People of all races and ages held Obama signs and American flags. Complete strangers hugged and high-fived each other. Some people sprayed the crowd with champagne, while others lit fireworks that shot high above us and exploded beautifully against the night sky. Chants of "Yes we can!" alternated with "Yes we did!" and, as several of my friends pointed out, hipsters shouted "U! S! A!" and sang the national anthem -- the national anthem! -- without a trace of irony. As Kim noted, eight years of pent-up frustration transformed last night into a wild, unstructured expression of pure joy. Whatever the Obama administration achieves or does not, there's no question that he has galvanized and energized a great many people who had little or no interest in politics before. I should know, because I'm one of them. An older man in the crowd said he hadn't seen anything like last night's rally since 1968, and one older woman, her large Obama pin attached crookedly to her coat, was on the verge of tears as she hugged us all. The kind of love people showed for their country and for each other last night was remarkable, and no development in the coming four years can take anything away from that.