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Crazy Olyvil Election Day Coverage: The Yes, We Can Edition

November 5, 2008

Hold the presses, because immediately after Obama’s acceptance speech, my mom called me to tell me she was a converted woman. She approved of his message, of his niceties regarding McCain, of his appeal to those who didn’t vote for him. Fascinating.

While my mother’s phone call was great, it follows the long line of texts and emails and phone calls that flooded Celisse and I upon the announcement. And if you were watching the Indecision 08 special as I was, there was probably a little confusion as well. It’s absolutely fascinating. I’m in NYC, so I heard the stories from friends about screaming in the streets and setting off fireworks, but in my quiet Brooklyn neighborhood, I didn’t really hear anything. Except my roommate and I yelping and applauding.

I wrote this in 2004, apparently:
Kim: its upsetting that the biggest issue for most americans was MORALS
Kim: when we are all unemployed and in a bankrupt dead economy
Kim: at least other people wont be able to have abortions
Kim: and gay people will still be single
Kim: yay!!!!

I was so worried that it would just be a repeat of 2004, but everyone kept reminding me that Obama was different than Kerry. That Kerry didn’t inspire the passion that Obama did, and it’s reflected in the numbers. Something like 68% of new voters voted for Obama.

The time I spent advertising Obama, donating to the campaign, getting people to register in time for the NY primary, it all seems worth it now. It’s not 2004, where I sat in a tiny comedy theatre under a grocery store and grumbled with the improv folks talking about abortions and joking to mask our horror and sadness. Of course, we made it through, and maybe some of us are better off now, but I could name several other aspects of America that haven’t made it. And we rolled along the gutter and went through a long and torturous campaign season to make it to this point.

I do hope that, as has been mentioned, Obama works with McCain on some issues. The John McCain that we all kind of loved a few years back is still there, buried under awful campaign decisions, handlers and the smudge of hockey moms whose names I can now thankfully forget.

It is a new day, as my friend Sheryl texted me earlier. It is a day in which friends TEXT each other about election results. In which I would actually have to think really hard to come up with the name of someone who didn’t vote – extending from family to coworkers to friends. Regardless of who they voted for, they got out there. This is OUR election. This is for our generation. This is for us. We believed. We hoped. We supported. We made it happen.

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”

-Kim

——

Goodness gracious. After initially waking my mother from a dead sleep by screaming into her room that Obama was announced the 44th President of the United States, I left my house and drove around my surrounding neighborhoods, honking my horn and shouting loudly at people in nearby cars. That’s how I roll.

Florida went Blue. America went Blue. I could not be more proud. But it means so much more than just a change of parties for all of us. It means that we as a nation, and more importantly, as a generation, finally took our country by the horns. We made our demands and that demand was for CHANGE.

2004 was such a difficult election for most of us. Like I wrote in an earlier post, it was the first election I participated in. It was an election where I voted for someone who I thought would be useful enough just to get our current president out of office. It was uninspiring, but it would get the job done. After we lost, it was so disheartening. So many young people felt like their votes didn’t matter, because the electorate didn’t care.

Tonight, that sentiment was finally squashed. Young people went out in record numbers. We voted, we got our friends to vote, our families. We rallied, and volunteered, and donated, and gave everything we had to help take our nation back from people we felt didn’t care about us. This is one of the first times in my life where I feel proud not just as an American, but as a Young American.

My father called me for the first time in over a month. At first, I thought he was calling to yell at me for voting for Barack Obama. Instead, he said he was happy and excited, and so glad that Obama is our new President. I was truly amazed.

This election was sort of a passing of the torch, from our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, to ours. Maybe Barack Obama isn’t technically part of our generation, but he represents everything that we can and will become.

Yes, we did.

— Celisse

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