When Justin asked me to do this, one of the reasons I said yes is because I wanted to record what I was thinking/feeling/doing/seeing when probably the most important presidential election of my lifetime occurred. I am not big into blogging, but I don't mind publicly memorializing my thoughts on this because the occasion is SO HUGE.
I grew up mostly in Skokie, Illinois. Not only does this mean I'm about to go vote for Barack Obama for the FOURTH time in four years (two primaries, two general elections) tomorrow, but it means his mere candidacy is not soooo out of the ordinary for me. In Skokie people of mixed backgrounds are common; over 60 languages are spoken in the households of the kids I went to high school with. To me, that is America at its best. But then I think about my mom, and the entire generation before me - she grew up in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, before desegregation. African Americans couldn't drink from the same water fountains, go to the same beaches or attend the same public schools until after my mom graduated high school (she'll kill me for aging her here). What must it be like for her to see that kind of change in her lifetime? What are black voters her age in Duval County (where Jacksonville is and is notorious for the number of black voters who were disenfranchised in 2000) thinking? The progress is just...blogs can't describe it.
From my mom's America to this America in one generation...this is why I have that corny "hope" Barack keeps talking about, because I think the fact that in America, as The Economist put it, "the son of a couple of nobodies, who was denied a floor pass to the Democratic Convention eight years ago, [can] become, by dint of sheer charisma and organizational skill, the probable president of the country," is the reason our president is also considered the leader of the free world. And tomorrow I hope that title goes to Senator Barack Hussein Obama.