Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
Wow, what a relief. We all were ready for this and now it has happened…and in our lifetime. We may have had some doubt along the way, but people, we have succeeded in having our voices heard and our concerns harnessed. McCain conceded by 8:30 PST and if that ain’t a landslide, I don’t know what is.
When I was initially collared to write this particular piece, I knew that my writing speed and style would be extremely challenged by the sheer amount of information that I would then have to assimilate and then make somewhat readable for the Weekly’s readers in just a few hour period. I found a way to overcome some of that in the way of penning a somewhat ‘Dewey-esque’ jumpstart- yes, I pre-wrote most of this piece. I have been an Obama supporter from the moment that I saw him speak from Iowa last January during their caucus. Something is his message and delivery that night actually MOVED me. I was born 3 months after JFK was assassinated, and in my 44 years I had never witnessed a politician that actually inspired…until I plunked down in front of my TV to watch Barack that night. I believe so strongly that the rest of us are ready for a fresh direction and hence voted this way that I will only write this victory summary of today like this; Barack Obama is the new President of the United States!This last couple months of campaigning has been nothing short of high drama. When Sarah Palin was chosen virtually out of nowhere to be John McCain’s running mate, we all scratched our head and hoped that Hilary’s massive contingent of followers wouldn’t make the knee-jerk jump to that camp. When Sarah immediately got on the soapbox to spew forth her extreme right-wing views (Bible-thumpin’, gun-toting, she-devil that she is), the rest of us teetered between a feeling of fear and the knowledge that Hilary’s backers were not going to go Palin’s way after all. How could they? She is for everything that Hilary Clinton is against. The drama escalated after we saw her absolutely fall flat and freak out on her interview with Katie Couric. We were enthralled by Tina Fey’s supposed parody of that interview on SNL…but it was an almost exact word-for-word re-enactment!
We here in Seattle live in a somewhat liberal bubble (or are we now the norm? Has the bubble popped?). Today at my local polling station, confidence for America’s future abounded with every ‘I Voted’ sticker being passed out. The ‘feel’ of this election is indeed far different from any I have taken part of in the past. The dividing line between Republican and Democrat seems to be an angry and gaping chasm. This time, the awkward friendliness of the election appears more than just cumbersome. This country needed to draw a line in the sand within itself. Like sand, this line will wash away once we see that we are all better off united, with one intended goal. Or, so I hope.
I want to now say congratulations to us all. We have collectively taken part in pushing for something different and outstanding. America can perhaps be glimpsed upon again as a place for forward thinking and democratic ideals. I am not saying this because we elected a young, black President, but because I think we all realized that Obama is the guy who will try the hardest with the freshest ideas. Ideas on how to get us out of all the holy hell that America holds in tenuous balance. The economy, the ‘war’ in Iraq, the Afghanistan hullabaloo, global warming and our utter dependence on oil….just to name a few. He has got his work cut out for him, and we have let him know that we have his back. This is cool. I am not saying that he is the answer to all of our problems, only rather that we made the wisest choice to get us moving in the right direction.
We are at a time in history that the political ‘center’ has perhaps shifted towards the left. We are not Europe, but tipping our hat to them for helping to shine a light on thinking and acting globally is what we are now doing. Government doesn’t have to step in for everything, but health care issues and Wall Street's overindulgence need some sort of tough Big Brother. I think Europe and the rest of the world are breathing a sigh of relief at the simple fact that we didn’t elect an outdated antique and his scary, hapless sidekick. With our political ‘center’ being re-aligned, we will now hopefully be seeing the end of days (pun intended) to our freaky Evangelical right and the Republicans' shameless kowtowing to them and their ilk. I try not to live in fear and/or voice bad thoughts or intentions. Hear me now though; whatever happens, Sarah Palin’s political career should come to an end. She is straight-up dangerous. Enough said about that.
Now, let’s fix some shit!