Mark and I voted at 11am on Tuesday. We didn't experience the long lines that others did. We just walked right into someone's garage up in the hills. There were tennis rackets on the walls and everything. Also, I had never voted in California before. You vote on something like a scantron here, and stamp ink into bubbles. Kooky. Fun.
Later we met Anne Marie and Abe at a bar in North Hollywood. It was this big sports bar with a million screens. I have nothing to compare this evening to. Every time Obama won a state, everyone went crazy. More energy than the World Series. After a very short while it was obvious Obama would win. He had 200 electoral votes and had yet to win California, Oregon and Washington. A few minutes later, around 9 o clock, that picture appeared on every single one of those TV screens. Barack Obama-- President Elect of the United States of America. Every single person in there went nuts. We hugged each other. We cried. I had really, deeply doubted the ability of my country to vote for him. But they did. Overwhelmingly. At some point everyone started chanting USA ! USA! USA! with such force, like they were taking it back. Taking it back from all the lies, the manipulation, the stupidity that has been the image of this country for all these years.
And, ya know, I love America. I do. I have always felt lucky to be here. I get mad when other people complain too much about this country. I feel like saying, well, move then. Leave. But I did not love President Bush. I don't love ignorance. I love things like the beautiful words of our constitution, that gives us things like Habeas Corpus.
Anyway. I got drunk, came home, learned that Prop 8 had passed and literally cried myself to sleep.
It was this strange feeling of being proud of my country, but at the same time, ashamed.
There is so much to do now though. Wars to avoid and wars to end. The elusive economy that will be a crapshoot to fix. No one knows, its like quantum physics, no one understands. But I think its the product of what happens when you have greed unleashed-- when you have people with money trying to make more instead of using it for good.
I am probably myself very dumb and naive. But I try, at least I am trying.