I am so proud of my country today! A renewed sense of pride that I haven't been able to feel in a very long time. When Michelle Obama made her comment about how she was finally able to be proud to be American many people attacked her. But you know what? I completely understood where she was coming from.
Of course I have always been American, and always been proud of what America is supposed to stand for. For a long time, however, this country has NOT exemplified the principals we claim to hold dear. For the past 8 years we have been led by an administration headed by an out-of-touch and ethnocentric leader with an agenda representing only a small portion of our public. On top of that - and as a particular pet peeve of my own - that same leader could not even be bothered to learn the proper pronunciation of the very language of our country. Yes, Bush appeared to the world as the stereotypical dumbfuck redneck American hillbilly without any true grasp of the issues of the world today. The fact that we let him steal his first term and then voted the damned thief into a second term further cemented the "gullible America" image to the world.
And if that weren't bad enough, we then held ourselves out as the standard by which the rest of the world should measure themselves. Well, the rest of the world looked at us and laughed. They laughed at our fear of "nu-Q-lar" weapons; they laughed at our "freedom fries" and then they got mad. Mad at our superior bullying attitude; mad at our disregard for the events of the world; and mad that we retaliated against a terrorist strike by invading the wrong country. Then, they began to laugh at us again as we drained our country's finances and bankrupted our nation in an effort to stay where we weren't even wanted.
When it came time to elect a new President, some geniuses decided it would be a good idea to go to the furthest borders of our country and pluck out an obscure (though beautiful), inexperienced, and not very educated woman and hold her out as best choice for our second in command.
At his point, we even began to laugh at ourselves.
Thankfully, we stood up and we finally said, "No." Instead, we chose a man whose very ethnicity represent the melting pot that we are. Barack Obama epitomizes the American dream in many ways. He is of mixed race and heritage; therefore he has experienced first-hand the racism and discrimination that still exists today. Indeed, he experienced it during his very campaign.
He grew up in a non-traditional family, therefore he knows that the traditional definition of the nuclear family is long over. He knows the pain of divorce - which is so prevalent in our society. He understands the struggles of a single mom who has to support her family alone because he has watched his own motherwork hard to provide for him. He has, most likely, experienced the disappointment of being told, "No, I'm sorry son, we cannot afford it."
He wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and I'm sure he has, at times, gone without. But despite his disadvantages he worked hard and proved that even a poor biracial kid from a broken home can gain entrance into one of our most esteemed Ivy League Universities. he knows that sometimes it is not always about who you know, but sometimes really is about how hard you work. He broke his first racial barrier by becoming the first African American to achieve the prestigious position as President of the Harvard Law Review.
And, guess what? Having been a child of the 1970s he, like so many other of his peers, did experiment with alcohol, pot, and cocaine. More importantly, he owns and admits these experiences so common to American college culture.
Throughout his career he has consistently focused on change at the grass roots level. He is blessed with the gift and ability to motivate people for a united cause. His candidacy addressed the very public he sought to represent rather than the interests of the elite. He asked us to hope, but he also acknowledge the high price of hope. He asked for our help - just $5 sometimes - and in the end we funded the most expensive campaign in history. Imagine that? Asking the average citizen to help without cloaking it in any complicated ruse. It's amazing what we can do for our country when we are simply, and honestly, asked.
Do you think this little bi-racial boy from a poor family was in any way groomed to be president? He had no Senator uncle, or a grandfather with presidential ties; no wealthy family intent on sending him to the white house.
We did that ourselves America. And we should be very very proud.