Today I am near tears. A basket case of conflicting emotions. At one point abject despair at the thought he may not win. Barack Obama may not be the next president of the United States. And then where would we be? Right back at the beginning. He could go back to being a senator, but after being this close to the presidency, to lose it to an old man clinging to the idea of continuing an already fruitless and protracted war, who despite incessant wild swings in the stock market, the collapse of the housing and credit markets, a plunging dollar and if not here, then imminent tomorrow recession, believes "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." How could we move forward with him? He wants to continue the failed policies of the current administration despite approval ratings in the 30s for the incumbent. He bills himself as a maverick but voted with Bush 90% of the time. He is not the man I would've voted for had Bush's swift boat tactics not worked in 2000. Yes, I would have voted for McCain over Al Gore in the 2000 election. I liked his personality and beliefs that much. I never would have voted for him over Obama, who so desperately wants not to disappoint us, his supporters, but the aforementioned reasons made the Republican senator from Arizona not even a long shot in the current election.
Minutes after the first feeling of despair, I read an article about Joe Biden's appearance on campus. In that article, the president of Gators for McCain (that this group even exists is bizarre to me) admitted to voting for Obama two weeks ago because the McCain he originally supported has not been present in the last several weeks of the campaign. The leader of this bizarre faction of the UF student body resigned from his position. I was on cloud nine after that! Euphoria! Look at what Barack can do! Look at how he's brining together people of all faiths and all races, of varied political stances, all those hoping for change.
I also have tears of joy at the thought that this baby, this half-black baby could be the next president. I wish his parents were around to see it and his grandmother was well enough to fully enjoy it.
And then there are times like this one where I am just simply being. Full of thoughts which span the gamut, understanding completely the other supporters like myself who can't yet claim victory. So to calm myself I try (and fail) to stay away from the political coverage which is now at a fever pitch. Thank God I don't have a tv. I know I couldn't control myself. It's already taking everything I have not to scour every single article in the New York Times, Washington Post and LA Times. Because once I start I'll be here all day. Then I'll get to the Chicago Tribune, the Charlotte Observer. I'll want to know what they're all saying about who Wednesday I hope I'll be able to call the president elect.
I have always felt an odd sort of attachment and lack of distance from the Civil Rights Movement despite it's "end" more than a decade before my birth. That is partly predicated on my mother's parentage arising out of the battleground of Mississippi and both of my parents impressing upon us the importance of our rights. Education and voting among others which were not always guaranteed to us simply because of the color of our skin. And really, a decade isn't so long. We were born black, we will die black, but that does not make us subpar.
Tomorrow when I go to the booth to cast my ballot, perhaps after standing in a lengthy line, I will no longer be on edge. I will stare long and hard at the name Barack Obama under the office of President of the United States, make certain that I am casting my ballot for that man I believe can help turn this country around, then grin in shock at the beauty of this moment or get choked up that it is finally here.
That night I will gather with the Black Law Students Association and Black Grad Students Organization to watch the returns from 7:30p.m. until. I want to be among family when the news comes, no matter what it is. Right now, it's in God's hands. It always has been. Barack Obama for President.