November 7th, 2008

President Obama

The truth about growing up Gen X and how Obama's victory heals us.

God, this is beautiful. (And ugly. And heart-rending.)

I don't often have such a strong reaction to an essay. We read essays like this because they're emotionally true; we read this kind of writing and poetry and fiction, we listen to music that does this for us and watch movies that touch on truths we know inside because what the words express is so true for us. It's as if finally - at last! - someone understands well enough to speak for us honestly and with perfect clarity. It's as if our minds touch just for a moment. Being understood and hearing our inner truths expressed so well is cathartic. We are never the same again after veils of misunderstanding are pulled aside; when we look inside without filters or walls, we become someone different; after facing the truth about ourselves, ironically we are never the same.

This essay describes concisely and lucidly how it felt to grow up Gen X American. And this phrase nails exactly about how it felt to hear Obama accept the Presidency:

when we watched Barack Obama's victory speech on Tuesday night, we looked into the eyes of a real leader, and decades of cynicism about politics and grass-roots movements and community melted away in a single moment.

For my entire life, I've had to knuckle under to conservatives (yes, I count Bill Clinton as such); for the students I teach, it must have been so much worse to have mostly only known the fucking tragedy that was the Bush dynasty. Though I have vague memories of Jimmy Carter, I've never felt someone represented me in the White House. Seeing Obama accepting the Presidency... I just wept for joy. And now I'm wet-cheeked all over again. Here, read it:

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Fucking brilliant.

With hope,
Chris

PS: I've deleted five LJ icons re: Bush and cynicism. It's time.