Here in the Bay Area many of us are probably feeling good about last night’s main election result. Obama won. (Spoiler?)
I think it was an exciting night for our country. Especially that it was decided and not dragged out and brought through various legal möbius strips. Personally though, I’m feeling dismayed by the overall results of the state propositions. We really want to keep the death penalty? We don’t think that consumers should be able to have questions about what’s in their food answered? Well, at least 30 passed and it’s not all on George Lucas’s shoulders to save education.
Yet I’m excited overall that our country generally seems energized to head in a direction that I think is best. It was a good night for LGBT rights, people overcame voter suppression and intimidation to get their voice heard, and we re-elected a president who best represents the majority of the people in this country, not just the most privileged. If this sounds like very careful, faint praise, it is. In last night’s acceptance speech, President Obama once again set the standards perhaps impossibly high for what we’d like to expect from his presidency. He mentioned really taking care of our returning veterans, LGBT equality, a lot of feel good things that I really wanted to hear. Does he believe in those ideals? I think he does. But how much will he actually do? How much can he do?
Four years ago our neighborhood exploded with joy and celebration when Barack Obama won the first time. This time around, not as much. While I think most of us are grateful that we didn’t see the chaos that followed the recent World Series win, maybe we were still a little underwhelmed by the relative quiet. The Castro partied. And why not. But the HOPE and CHANGE that we felt four years ago feels a bit more like PERSIST and SUSTAIN at this point.
And keep hoping.
Anyway, the rest of the internet has much better election breakdowns than you should expect to find here. I’m just rambling. Elections are big and broad and complicated and it’s all still sinking in for me. Feel free to ramble on in the comments. If you haven’t yet, check out Mission Local’s great coverage of our neighborhood’s experience of voting day.
For now I’m hanging on to the little things, the things immediately around me. Things like the picture at the top of this post, taken this morning. Doc explains:
It was an extra gloomy walk down Market Street this morning until I reached this Muni stop full of schoolkids cheering along every cyclist that came their way. Perfectly lined up along the bike path, the kids started reaching out their palms for some extreme high five action. Even the most serious bikers popped a smile at the scene. Perhaps in a post election world, this is a sign of pedestrians and bicyclists finally coming together .