Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Nation I'm Proud Of

OK - this isn't about film, but I needed to write this.

As my wife and I landed at New York's JFK airport last night, our gay flight attendant came over the intercom and informed us that "Obama is the next president of the United States." Our plane erupted in applause. It was a beautiful moment, and something I'll never forget.

Of course, I had expected this victory. I knew that it wouldn't be a total landslide, that it could get close. I had mentally prepared for the last-ditch shenanigans from the McCain campaign. But I never really believed McCain could pull out a win. My wife and I had discussed our exit strategy should the unthinkable happen (we had landed on Vancouver), but always in a half-joking manner.

It wasn't till the cab ride home, though, when we kept asking the cabbie to turn up Obama's victory speech, that our victory really sunk in. And it really is our victory - a victory for every single last American. It's a victory for all us white kids who grew up with racist families in all-white hick-towns yet managed to use our brains and listen to our hearts long enough to see through the ignorance. It's a victory for anyone who had long ago lost hope in our nation and our ideals, who had receded into cynicism and despair. It's a victory for my Arkansas family, whom I love and miss dearly, who can no longer hypocritically praise Jesus while harboring prejudice. And most of all, it's a victory for our children. The first generation of Americans who will live in a country that has finally realized its dream that "All men are created equal."

I am so proud of our nation. And I am not ashamed to admit it - for the first time in my life, I am honestly, sincerely, profoundly proud of our nation.

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