Remember, Remember the 5th of November…

November 5, 2008

This election morning, I woke up to the sounds of “O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA! We’re going to VOTE!” I smiled. I voted smiling. As the day wore on, my heart raced at the thought of what might happen that night. So afraid of the disappointment and heartache that I might feel…that the country might feel if he didn’t win. Trying to stay distracted so that the media couldn’t completely penetrate my head, but it’s hard to ignore. Every channel, websites…the TV even turned onto it by itself at one point. Explain that. 

But…”Breaking News” flashed and it was hard to ignore – Obama won Pennsylvania. All doubts and fears melted away and the tears flowed. From then on, glued to the TV, I watched Obama take state after state and finally win. At the moment he won, cheers and firecrackers and bells & whistles (literally) sounded outside in the nearly 80% Obama boro of Brooklyn. Finally, I’m home – away from the Red county of Warren in NJ where I grew up. 

At just about midnight on the 5th of November, Obama took the stage and delivered his first speech asthe projected President Elect with grace, elegance, and honesty. For the very first time since I can remember…since Bill Clinton won probably…I feel proud to be an American. All of my previous cynicism has vanished (for now). I feel safe. I feel at one with other Americans. While he spoke, I saw the future – the hope – where other countries will begin to view America with respect, where troops with be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, where the wars will dissipate for a few years, where the world may not end in 2012, where things are just easier (with regard to red tape of corporate America and politics), where American politicians in the future may be any color or sex without discrimination, where the right to abortion will not be challenged, where HEALTHCARE might for once be universal or regulated in a way where people aren’t going bankrupt from hospital bills, where I will travel for leisure and fun instead of wanting to move away from a tired and failing country….

I can’t remember the last time I felt this much hope, happiness, and energy about America…I’ve spent so much of my time growing up, writing about political corruption in the US and basing my creativity on these ideas, and bad-mouthing politicians and our own President…I feel like I’ve never known anything else. 

For the first time, I actually enjoyed watching our future President speak. There was nothing to poke fun at – for once, it was serious. What a huge relief. 

From this moment on, I will remember, remember the 5th of November – but not for the destruction of a country monument in statement and protest (V for Vendetta) or the date of my thesis show in college (and finishing the play). I will remember the 5th of November for when our new leader took the stage and everyone listened. 

And as I fall asleep now, cheers still echo through Brooklyn. I smile.

Michele Guieu

By: Michele Guieu


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