Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Voting and the Vote
It was by all measures a historic occasion when Barack Obama won the election. In January he will become the 44th president of the United States. To borrow Tom Friedman's analysis this marks the end of the Civil War. I am not so sure about that analysis but I do share Leon Wieseltier's views, who said: "How can a Jew, I mean a Jewish Jew, not rejoice at the election of Barack Obama? Not politically, where the road ahead may be rough; but historically, spiritually. We, too, remember the pharaohs; and we, too, choose never to hate the world; and we, too, have a hope of being saved by America." (The New Republic) I do sense that there is now a renewed sense of hope in this country. I pray that there is a renewed faith in American ideals and apirations. Whether you voted for Obama or McCain the promise of something different and the feeling of participating in history adds meaning to our days. I can't remember the last time I had to wait in line to flip those levers. Usually I am in and out; parking my car takes longer than voting. This time I waited some thirty minutes to cast my vote. I talked with my neighbors. I talked with those in front of me and behind. I am sure there were many different votes in that elementary school gym. There were some who stand to the right of me and some to the left. Regardless of the particulars of our votes, regardless of whether our opinions might have divided us, we stood as one waiting to participate in the dream of America. That alone was enough to restore my hope. May this great country realize all its dreams and all its promise!