The Leader

It finally occurs to me to turn on the TV. I’ve been listening to NPR and CNN on the laptop, with the htoel room’s flat screen blank in the corner. BBC Channel 3 is following the man we call #barackobama to the stage in Chicago.

Now Obama is speaking. We are and always will be the United States of America. With nature waving the flag behind him. Hard to blog what follows. Too choked up.

An amazing speech, as excellent as he has led us to expect. And to keep expecting.

Not a call to unite, or a command. Just an assertion spoken on coins in our pockets. e pluribus unum. Out of many, one.

13 comments

  1. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Now we can get rid of the Red and Blue states, and go back to being a good old fashioned United States.

    Whew!

  2. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Doc, you say blogging is provisional…. it may be to someone like yourself who can apparently turn out well crafted prose while jet-lagged and bandwidth starved… but for the rest of us, the call to be provisional just gives us too much license to just fire off a piece of raw text without giving it enough reflection… much like this sleep-deprived comment

  3. Russell Nelson’s avatar

    I’m glad you have hope, Doc, but I see the cities arrayed against the rural areas.

  4. vanderleun’s avatar

    e pluribus unum

    And so say we all.

  5. C3’s avatar

    Living in the UK- I gave up watching the news sometime around midnight and fell asleep watching the returns from the East Coast; apparently I made it till Pennsylvania was announced and a had a conversation with my husband but I don’t seem to remember sleep-talking .
    It was so great to see the turnout for the election. Those voters really made me proud. Yesterday was incredible People felt like they could make a difference for the first time in a long time. Independent of location, of age, of social status, of financial position, of gender and even of political affiliation.

    Let’s hope that difference is a gracious, calm, focused and positive on an on-going basis; focused on the huge challenges we have today and the ones which will crop up. I know the new leader-elect embodies those qualities. In talking with my native Chicago boss, I said I don’t know that we need another JFK but that a new FDR would be great.

    Today I feel so homesick but for the right reasons. You all have seen a fantastic thing happen today. Now the work begins!

    From Obama’s acceptance speech:
    I know that our journeys are separate but our destinies are shared.

    Let’s celebrate today- the work starts tomorrow and it will be a fine day to start this work.

  6. Pauly’s avatar

    “Relieved” is the best word I can find right now. Now we have to hold the Democrats to the fire against overreach. Which strikes me as easier than the last 8 years have been, notwithstanding some of the more classically and repressively “liberal” impulses in the new Congressional makeup. This truly is a centrist country (and let’s forget about the “center-left” and “center-right” posturing when the left/right dichotomy is so demonstrably obsolete) and this election rekindled my optimism on that point and on the fact that “yes we can” also keep some of the congressional excess at bay while getting to work at rebuilding infrastructure, credibility in foreign policy and not least opening the economic “force multiplier” that is a true internet commons.

  7. Lisa Gates’s avatar

    Doc,
    Yes to tears.
    I think about vision. The kind of vision that comes dressed up with inspiration and feet on the ground. Amen.

    I never write poetry. Don’t even know if you could call it poetry technically…but I wrote this “wish” about 9 months ago…

    When You Put Your Lips Together in the Shap of an O

    I want to live for the sound of thunder
    in the heart
    the kind of sound that moves
    into the belly and agitates the feet
    and sends a stomping wave of passion
    a leather, rubber, canvas carnival of clapping joyous feet
    that run from sea to sea on the memory of water
    and makes us remember what it felt like to be heard
    to be loved, to be held, to be known
    a force, a rhythm, a blink, a wink
    a word
    the kind of word that takes forever to say
    because possibility is just that long

    I know he gets out of bed
    and wonders
    and sometimes
    (no often, he’s just like us, I remember)
    thunders at god
    and washes his face
    and can’t find the sock that matches
    and damn his watch just stopped
    because it’s time for an idea that arrests the heart
    it’s time for polar bear white
    and French fry mobiles with Flinstone ingenuity
    and it’s time to remember it was a creed
    written into the founding documents
    and before that when the vast infinite’s heart lit on fire
    it was whispered, yes
    and then it was whispered by slaves, yes we
    and then it was whispered by all, yes we
    we can heal this nation and repair this world

    Put your lips together and kiss
    Put your lips together and sing

    :-)

  8. Lou Josephs’s avatar

    Watched BBC World, gawd did they not get it. Slower than anyone on one on making the calls. CBC did a really good job of telling the story of the election but didn’t really get into the why of it.
    The behind the scenes stuff we didn’t know always amazes me.
    Newsweek has posted three parts of seven.http://www.newsweek.com/id/167581
    Al Franken goes to a recount, and your friends and neighbors in California voted against gay marriage. Oops.

  9. Colette Searls’s avatar

    This is a critical moment for us to re-think the way we treat our leaders. That is really the “change we need.” What matters most about Obama is that he inspires us to HELP him — and those of us who have helped him can’t stop now that he’s elected. Now we need to turn our efforts from helping Obama get elected to helping him lead. Our nation has made a sport out of blaming Dubya for eight years — and though it was richly deserved, we have grown an attitude of expectation that our leaders are people we hired to fix our problems rather than lead US to better solutions. We’ve disempowered ourselves in this expectation that it’s ultimately the leaders’ fault — that we simply hired the wrong guy — when things go wrong. It’s time to look within at how we as individuals and communities can follow Obama’s call and look inward for the sources of problems and new solutions.

  10. jMac’s avatar

    A great and moving post Doc…

    Linked here to you: http://www.jonathanmacdonald.com/?p=1884

    I spent the results night in a small town called Jena in Germany with hundreds of smiling, laughing, ecstatic Germans watching CNN.

    I would have wished to be in Chicago but standing in a place where change has happened in such an extreme way, all made sense somehow…

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