"Today the American people have made their voices heard, and they have said, 'Things are finally as terrible as we're willing to tolerate," said Obama, addressing a crowd of unemployed, uninsured, and debt-ridden supporters. "To elect a black man, in this country, and at this time—these last eight years must have really broken you."
Added Obama, "It's a great day for our nation."
Carrying a majority of the popular vote, Obama did especially well among women and young voters, who polls showed were particularly sensitive to the current climate of everything being fucked. Another contributing factor to Obama's victory, political experts said, may have been the growing number of Americans who, faced with the complete collapse of their country, were at last able to abandon their preconceptions and cast their vote for a progressive African-American.
The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for the Democratic primary debates, Obama was recorded saying, "I don't consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me ... answer it.' So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'."
First and Pike last night looked and felt something like the liberation of France after the Nazi occupation. Ecstatic strangers high-fived each other in the streets. People leaned out of car windows shouting "Obama" while drivers leaned on ther horns. Huge crowds took over the street chanting "Yes We Can." People were crying out of sheer joy. Just as things seemed to be dying down a bit after midnight, another large crowd poured into the downtown, complete with marching band. Never, in my life, have I seen anything like it. Hope has been unleashed.
Today, the real work begins. America is going the way of all empires, and has been for awhile. We are militarily overextended, and the costs in blood and treasure are unsustainable. The elites are entirely focused on getting theirs while the getting is still good and the rest of us are going down. The system is in the beginning stages of collapse and the halfwit son of the former King is in charge.
Like probably half the people I know, I found myself tearing up during Obama's victory speech. While his story of progress in America through the eyes of a 106-year-old woman was rhetorically masterful and measured up to the magnitude of the moment, that's not what got me. My own tears of gratitude came because here, finally, someone — someone who is going to be President of the United States — was telling the truth.
Change won't be easy. People will have to sacrifice. It will be a long hard climb. We, the people, were invited to join in the remaking of America, "block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand," and to "look after not only ourselves, but each other."
Seeing all the young people in the streets last night gave me more hope for the future than I've ever felt in my life. I look at my five year old daughters and wonder what horrors they'll see. Civil war in America? Drinking water at $5 a gallon? Massive migrations due to coastal flooding? Mega-slums right here in the United States? But hope was in the streets last night.
On the other side stand the forces of reaction, and they will not easily fade into the night. An otherwise normal looking woman — my apartment building manager — told me in all seriousness last week that Obama is the Antichrist. "It's all in Revelations," she said. Read Revelations."
It's going to be one hell of a ride.