BookTour Day 15 – Hope Triumphant

Did you cry? I cried. I’m still crying.

I wonder if Americans felt this way when the American Revolution ended and the sun came up on a new country that was filled with hope, optimism, and the determination to make the future better than the past.

I think they did.

My heart goes out to the people who supported McCain. They’re hurting today. I hope those of us who supported President-Elect Obama will follow his gracious lead and reach across the aisle to reweave the fabric of America. Partisan politics almost destroyed our country. We’ll have countless opportunities every day to repair the damage.

Let me tell you about the cab driver who took me to the airport yesterday.

He fled Ethiopia when that country was rocked by a Communist take-over in the late 1970’s. He had been an electrical engineer with an advanced degree there. Here he took whatever job he could to provide for his family. He became a citizen, paid his taxes, and voted in every election. He and his wife have raised three children: a scientist who is researching HIV/AIDS, an electrical engineer, and a daughter who is entering medical school. And like I said, he drives a cab.

We agreed that an Obama victory would be the greatest event of our lives. “I came to America because I could be safe here and raise my family,” he said. “I came here because Americans are good people. We take care of each other in this country. We work hard.”

That was when he choked up.

The Obama victory is not the end, it’s just the beginning! I think I’ll be humming the National Anthem all day.

Oh, yeah… I’m still on booktour! School visits all day today and tomorrow. My next public event is north of New York City….

TOMORROW’S EVENT: Thursday, November 6 at 6:45 pm: Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, NY 845-677-5857

23 Replies to “BookTour Day 15 – Hope Triumphant”

  1. Yes! I am inspired and proud and feel more patriotic than I ever have.

    I have a 19 month old daughter and I am so happy to begin feeling optimistic about her future and the planet we will be passing down to our children and our childrens’ children.

    Also, I just read Chains and loved it. Looking forward to more!

  2. I cried! I didn’t think I would cry – but when he gave his speech, ohhh, it was all over for me! Last night was amazing.

    I ran into my parents room screaming like a maniac, and they jumped out of bed because they thought we were being robbed or something, haha.

    This was my first time voting in an election too, how exciting! Obama also won my state – Florida, which a democrat never seems to win. It really made me feel like my vote counted! 🙂

  3. I cannot stop crying. I even cried in my sleep. Every time someone says “Obama,” I just tear up all over again. I am so proud, and relieved, and full of hope. Best day ever.

  4. Yeah, McCain offered the most gracious and inspiring concession I think I’ve ever seen, calling Obama now “my president.” He’s still a hero. In some circumstances, against some Democrats, and with a serious choice of vice-president, I’d have voted for him across party lines.

    Partisan politics is the first of all luxuries human beings choose to afford. When we can afford luxuries the least– as for example during World War II, or during the current crisis– we have the least of it.

  5. I cried and I’m Canadian. I’m so happy for America and for Obama. I need to go buy a newspaper now so that some day when I’m an adult and my kids study this in their history class I’ll be able to give them a primary resource.

  6. Reaching across–oh yes, definitely and of course. Really, it is what we have needed for a good long while now. McCain gets plenty of respect for the way he handled that in his concession speech as well.

  7. I think for me, last night was the closest I’ve come to understanding how people felt about John Kennedy. I never thought he had that much time to do so many great things that made people love him.

    Now I think I know: It was the hope he gave them that those things were possible. After many years of NOT being possible. Okay. I get it. 🙂

  8. I couldn’t have been prouder of OfficeMouse for returning home yesterday so she could have the visceral pleasure of pushing THAT BUTTON in her first presidential election. We all sat around watching the speeches last night, feeling the warm glow of real impending change and reinvesting our faith that Americans can still tell when things are going wrong and are willing to set things right.

    Although my precinct doesn’t have many under-25s, they pretty much all came and voted yesterday. The interesting thing was that they came in packs. It was like bunches of friends got together and decided to vote as a group — like it was a cool thing to do with your friends. Being the Dem Committeeperson of my precinct, I got a big boost from that, because I knew who they were there to vote for. More importantly, they are developing the life-long habit of voting and the mentality that the process is worth it. Mer said the lines at Millersville and Temple and West Chester were HOURS long, and no one left. Or if they did need to leave for a class, they came back.

    We’ve come a long way from the day when I had to take Dad outdoors after Thanksgiving dinner and inform him that as much as I loved him, if he ever used the N-word around our daughters again, he would not be welcome in our home. I spent a lot of yesterday wondering who he would have voted for. You knew him pretty well. What do you think?

  9. PS: Substitute “Algerian Secret Service” into your cab driver story, and you basically have the tale that was told to Sue and I during our ride from Logan into Boston last month. What a country!

  10. I cried, and cheered, and cried…(and then I went to bed and someone got into my house and stole my laptop, but that’s another story!).

    And now this afternoon it’s hitting me all over again, that this is America, this is democracy, this is our country. And all these gorgeous words are the shape of the ideas and ideals that are our foundation.

    This must have been how my mom felt when she worked on Kennedy’s campaign, before she turned into a Republican. 😉

  11. your story about the cab driver made me tear up. i sincerely hope that with the amazing changes that are about to take place that his life will change for the better.

  12. I wholeheartedly agree.

    (Just a heads-up–I think you mean that your next public (not “pubic”) event is north of NYC.)

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