The fact that Obama is President hasn't really sunken in. It's been a couple months and I still felt like it was surreal. Too good to be true. I wasn’t really into Obama before elections when all the hype started. I don’t follow politics because I, sadly, don’t really care. I wanted Obama to win because he was a Democrat. That’s it. Not his views on the war in Iraq, gay marriage, or what the fuck he was gonna do about Afghanistan. I didn’t look into it because I didn’t care that much. Then elections came. The week before that’s all anyone talked about. Who deserved it, who everyone was going to vote for, why Palin sucked, all of that; that’s when I started to get excited. I saw all of the “Yes we can” and “Hope” posters with Obama’s face on them. I started to feel this overwhelming sense of, “he needs to win.” Somehow I believed that if he won things would change for the better. There’s no explaining the feeling, it could’ve been all the propaganda (if that’s the right word) of “hope for change.” It was a good feeling though. Every election I’ve been alive for, I watched 10 minutes of it, go bored, and changed the channel. That’s if I watched it at all. This one was different. I watched it all. I was nervous, excited, so many different emotions were running through me; the anticipation was killing me. The states started to change from white to red or blue. Every blue state I got excited, but scared at the same time. I knew there were still huge states that could put McCain in the lead and crush my hopes. I realized it was over when the electoral votes were somewhere around 160 to 35. It was ridiculous. The feelings I had about Obama, that something spectacular would happen if he won, America felt the same way. Then it was announced, Obama was going to be President (not a word I usually capitalize.) I was ecstatic, yes we did America. It’s about time you do something phenomenal. The part everyone watches for was over, I still watched. Waiting to see how the rest of the states that were “too close to call” turned out. I was mostly just waiting for Indiana. I heard that we were a pivotal state or something. We’ve been Republican for so long, none of the candidates ever bother. Obama did, probably because he’s from Chicago and we’re neighbors; but he came to Indiana. Something I don’t remember hearing has ever happened. The results finally came in, we were blue. No fucking way. I wanted to cry because I was so happy. Something inside me calmed down because I knew we were saved from some impending doom headed America’s way. If Indiana can go blue, anything is possible. The week after the hype died down, I kind of forgot. Whenever I saw an Obama poster, headline, t-shirt, or heard an Obama ringtone (yes, they make them) my day brightened until I forgot again. Fast forward to more recently. I didn’t watch the inauguration, it sounded too boring. It was a great piece of history and I missed it because it didn’t feel real to me. Monday I was disappointed that I didn’t watch it. Monday was the day it sunk in. On my way out the door I glanced down at the newspaper. I never read the newspaper. I never read the paper because I don’t care. There was a picture that took up half the front page of a bunch of people in line somewhere. It looked like a line that you would see on black Friday. I was intrigued. Apparently Obama was going to speak in Elkhart. Cool, whatever, didn’t really care, because I hadn’t had the “holy fuck Obama is President!” moment yet. I was on my way to school and I saw a state trooper; five minutes later I saw another one. Then on every bridge then went over the bypass, there was a squad car. Every spot where you could illegally u-turn, there was a squad car. Every two or three miles, there was one driving or sitting on the side of the road. After 10 minutes of this I had to know what the hell the deal was. I called my mom. Her phone went straight to voicemail because she was at the mall. Oh well, I was sure I’d figure it out eventually. Two minutes later, I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to know. I called my sister, she’s a reporter, it’s her job to know what the clusterfuck was happening. She answered, if she wouldn’t’ve, I would have gone insane. I asked if she knew what the hell was going on. I explained all of the troopers, sheriffs, and police; and that there was now a helicopter too. She asked if I was in Elkhart. “Yeah, why does that matter?” Then she told me that Obama was going to be speaking there, flashback to the paper….DUH. I should’ve remembered that. He was taking the stand in half an hour. We hung up. Then I was thinking, but why all the cops? He’s probably there already. A minute later there was one, lonely cop car driving down the middle of the road on the opposite side. Then a caravan of cars came. There were two more squad cars, then there was a limo with the American flag and the Presidential flag. I saw the President. I saw the man who was going to save us. One of the most significant 3 second spans of time in my life. The limo was followed by at least six long white vans (amish haulers if you prefer), an ambulance, and more squad cars. I texted Tiff because I knew she’d appreciate it. That’s when it hit me. Yes we did. He really was President, Indiana really did go blue, change was coming. Tears filled my eyes. That suddenly, I wanted to cry. History was made, and I was part of it. I can (hopefully) one day tell my grandchildren that because of the election in 2008 your amazing life was possible. That because of Barack Obama we’re not in a terrible way economically. That he stopped the regression and gave people their jobs back in 2009. That they don’t starve and we don’t have ration cards because Obama saved us. We hoped for changed and we got it, and that’s why, grandchildren of mine, we can live comfortably and not have to save money because we know the economy is going to crash, but because we want to. I’ll tell them about how I remember election night and watching the states go blue, how I stayed up until three in the morning watching something I’ve never cared about before because I knew it was more significant than anything I had experienced before. My faith was restored in America when the elected Obama. It felt like they finally all united and agreed that something had to give and Obama was the best man to do something about it. I’ve never been more proud to be an American than I was Monday. America made a good decision. I’ve been disappointed in America for the past 8 years, and finally I’m not. Good work America, let’s hope we get the change we were promised. We deserve it.
YES WE DID