Hair of the Dog

5.11.08 , Posted by Geoff Thorne at 09:36

So. We did it. The good guys won and we did something, once again, that has never occurred on this planet before. A member of the low tier, formerly enslaved social class has now achieved this nation's highest office making him, literally, the most powerful human being in the world. We hung together and let the spirit of E PLURIBUS UNUM drive us. When it does that, when we let it, we become the thing too many of us think we are simply by virtue of birth. We become Americans. That is an activity, to my mind, rather than a state. Like Clint Black says about Love, it's something we Do. There's more to this victory ( I won't say historic because everyone else is doing that) than parties and pats on the back. This is not the end of anything. It is, if we are VERY lucky and VERY careful, the beginning of something better, something new. But it's not a Christmas present. No magical aliens are going to swoop down with cures for cancer or an injection that blocks homohobia. It's still just us down here, building the world and, sadly, still tearing it down. So. What do we do now, after the confetti is cleared away and the residue of last night's victory champagne is offset by combos of protein shakes and Red Bull? Well. The past is prologue, folks. While a significant change has been made here and a slightly larger number of people who believe in the promise of this place than those who harken back to its darker times made their voices heard, the conditions our new President faces on day one are nearly as daunting and certainly as dire as those facing FDR or LBJ. In some ways, more so. We are a debtor nation. We have massive social and economic issues that plague us still which the election of a single individual, ANY individual, will not offset. Even as we embraced one sort of tolerance and expressed our desire to put one form of bigotry behind us we continue to treat our LBGT population with , well, something less than decency. That's something that needs fixing. It's not something that can be done by Presidential edict. Nearly none of our problems can really be solved that way. So. The question. Again. What now? What now, folks? I think the new President has been saying it the whole time. He's not our Saviour. He's our first citizen and, in some cases, our leader. But, as he's said many times, this election, this nation is not about him. It's about us. Who's going to implement the "Change we can believe in?" We are. We'd better. I think we can. It is, after all, what we do.

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