It has been a very, very long time since the last time I was proud to say that I'm an American. Actually, I take that back; I don't think I have ever felt that way. Most people who know me know that I am not a patriotic person and in-your-face "patriots" really make me want to vomit. So Obama beat Romney...that makes me happy. Does that make me finally a little bit proud to smile that I'm a US citizen? Not as much as some other things that happened Tuesday night.
WOMEN! MARRIAGE! MARIJUANA! Oh my!
Congress has a record number of women in it now - 20 in the Senate and 77 in the House. Yes, those numbers/percentages are still extremely small (just 20% in the Senate and 17% in the House) but it's something. Rape Rupert Murdouch was defeated!! Elizabeth Warren elected!! And I have never been more proud to be a Wisconsinite because I was floored when I heard that Tammy Baldwin beat Tommy Thompson. I didn't think it would happen. After Scott Walker, I guess I lost a lot of faith in my fellow Wisconsin men and women. What an amazing victory for both women and the LGBT community - the first openly gay senator!! From Wisconsin!! All smiles over here.
Then Minnesota, Washington, Maine, and Maryland all passed same-sex marriage amendments. In the case of Minnesota, they voted "no" on an amendment to officially define marriage as between a man and a woman and in the other states same-sex marriage is officially legal! Today I looked at an article with photos of couples' reactions as the news was announced and my heart just felt too big for my body.
Marijuana. Oh Mary J. I had no idea some states were even voting on anything having to do with her. All I have to say is - Tax that shit.
We can't win them all of course as California did not vote to end the death penalty nor did they approve a law requiring GMO labels on food.
Today I feel new and I feel so much more hope than in 2008 and it has absolutely nothing to do with Obama. The last year has been a political roller coaster for a lot of the country, and especially us Wisconsinites. I had been quickly growing more and more depressed about the ability of my country to truly move forward as it seemed that people's answer to hard times was to revert to mind-sets that I thought we'd left behind 60 years ago. Tuesday's results have left me speechless and restored a little faith in how I think about the American people (hey, just a little though...we still got a long way to go).
All in all, it was such a successful night beyond the Obama/Romney race. The choice for president is always a choice for the lesser of two evils. The system needs to change. The two-party system is what makes my country divisive, not the two people who represent one side or the other. I agree with everyone who says that we are too divided right now, and I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to rejecting someone just because they aren't a "democrat" or vice-versa, so I will be the first to admit that a change begins with me. I just hope the Romney loss won't leave my "republican" friends feeling the opposite.
Some photos from the Election Party I went to, organized by Democrats abroad:
|Hanging with the Prez|
|Prepared for an all-nighter together|
|5:30 am Celebrating|