Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This was The New York Times map image that first called the election for Barack Obama. The next map switched California to reflect the expected win. Sometimes what comes next is clear. Sometimes not so clear.

When McCain's crowd goes into its boos I'm reminded that the vote tally doesn't reflect only one side. There are voices that will be determined to speak up more than ever against ideas they oppose. And perhaps they should. But I feel some dismay alongside Shepard Smith who just commented on FOX: The Boos were…disturbing. When does this end?

Mxrk commented nicely on what can come next. But what has been happening and what has ended? As I said in the previous post, whatever has happened has passed. And we probably need to move on from a lot of it. But there are reminders that still…

We are reminded that some issues have to keep moving no matter the outcome of a 'gatekeeping' moment: that is, such an occasion where we see what shall pass.

Neither the passing or failing of a proposition nor the victory or defeat of a candidate silences a movement. Because these are not horse races. We like to call them that. But those lines assume that we loosen our grip and let go. There are still fists in the air blaming a qualified man for not minding his place. And that saddens me.

The Proposition 8 issue is symbolically central to many of my views. I don't support sanctioned marginalization of specific groups and I keep hoping to see that the voters feel the same way. This is a representative government, so those moments when the voters are given an opportunity to directly vote on an issue are fascinating. And scary. What happens if the constitutional limitation of marriage rights fails? Surely a movement to deny rights by other means. And if it passes (which at this hour looks likely)? Well a movement to repeal of course.

So Obama has won. What happens? A lot of people will feel empowered. Wonderful. A lot of people will move past criticism and towards more trust. Some people will focus more on criticism and accountability. That's necessary. What of those who will settle more determinedly into their traditions of disregard for entire groups? We have heard their hissing throughout the campaigns. We have hoped to see their arguments rejected and discounted. And after an election that speaks loudly against those arguments we can only be assured that they will feel the pressure to counter.

But the co-occurrence of competing voices is not division. And the fear that individuals feel for a group is not division. But it leads to division when they are given no assurance that the fear is ill-founded. I could simply hope that my hopes for equality naturally infuse all minds. But despite the religious indoctrination I've slogged thru since childhood, I know that my conviction is not an argument.

Casey has been dedicated to a more staid discourse for a while now—much longer than he's been blogging here. And argue as I did for the value of snaps and dozens I do think a new tone needs to start sounding louder alongside the expressions of ridicule and disbelief. Not to drown it out, but to clarify substance.

Hours later McCain has conceded. The necessary total has been surpassed. So why am I still watching the numbers for Indiana? Why am I hoping my state speaks as my vote did? Why should it matter that Ralph Nader wouldn't back down from his choice of words in saying that Obama can be either Uncle Sam or a corporate Uncle Tom? Why is a friend's comment that these are now the United Socialist States of America so much more frustrating after the election than before?

Because we hope for a defining moment but we don't have one. We are constantly on a verge.


Casey said...

"Because we hope for a defining moment but we don't have one. We are constantly on a verge."

Man, that is SO well-phrased... now if I could only convince you to be invigorated, rather than frustrated, during these moments.

I'm STILL holding my breath about North Carolina, practically pleading with the Universe to make it come down blue to reflect my vote. Cool post.

"Staid" -- haha, thanks.

Anonymous said...

...and I'm on the verge...
of wanting to know if this blog continue?? (yes you can)

As much as the prop 8 passing is depressing, remember that if it can be passed so easily, then it can repealed too (I hope).

The Ridger, FCD said...

NC came through!

(ditto anonymous)