I know this is a sports blog and that most people prefer it to remain totally sports-oriented (hey I put up a picture of him bowling for you), but it is also a deeply personal endeavor for me and I cant help but write about tonight. This post will be melodramatic and overly serious, but you will just have to forgive me. For tonight is just about the happiest I have been in some time. That happiness is not just because a guy who I supported was elected President of the United States. While it hasnt happened for me since I started caring about politics, I could always imagine what it was like to back a winner…..heck I am a UK fan. My happiness also wasnt due to my admiration of Barack Obama, although I do admire him immensely. He likely will be the one politician of my lifetime who has the ability to inspire me and it is quite exciting to see him reach success. But thats not what I am happy tonight and its not why (at 1:30 am), I am still up trying to digest the activities of the evening.
The reason I am happy tonight is that the events of today can only happen in a country like America. That line sounds like a trite slogan, said by some politician or country music singer, but it really is true. Regardless of what you think of his politics, take a step back and think about Barack Obama. He is the black son of an immigrant father who, a poor teenage mother with difficulties and was raised by a set of white grandparents in Hawaii. In a country that just a generation ago dealt with forced segregation, that man, given none of the benefits of a pampered life, has risen to the highest office in the land. And he did so while having the unfortunate name “Barack Hussein Obama.” In no other country on Earth could a story like that happen, but it did here, today.
Why I am happy tonight is that in many ways, the truths that our country was founded upon became vivid to me again. A person of any gender, race, religion or creed can become whatever they want to be. I guess I always knew that, but I am not sure that I completely believed it. Tonight I do…..and whats better is that I am not the only one who sees it. While spending the day in nervous hiding (with my phone, computer and all communication off), I walked to a McDonalds and saw four young guys, three black and one white, watching the election returns. As the Kentucky results were posted, one said, “well he lost Kentucky, he may not win.” Then another answered, “man I cant wait till I get old enough to vote….I wish I could have this time.” And then his friiends all agreed. Watching it, I was convinced I had to be getting Punk’d because such a scene would only occur in a Disney movie. But it occurred tonight in Louisville, Kentucky and illustrates the power of this moment.
I have no idea if Barack Obama will end up being a great President. My hope certainly is that he will be and I have great faith in his abilities. But as he said tonight, this evening really isnt about him. Tonight shows everyone that there is still is possibility in this world for greatness and that message, especially when realized by so many who often feel so disillusioned cannot help but make me filled with optimism. Obama is not a miracle worker, but the message that he represents can have important consequences, if it is truly taken to heart by those for whom life gives difficulties. If a kid named Barack from Kansas can do it, so can a kid from Harlem or Brownsville, Texas or Bell County, Kentucky. Only in America is that true and for that I am thankful.
No, none of that had to do with Daniel Orton’s supposed injury or Trevard Lindley’s awards, but I appreciate you indulging me nonetheless. I have no idea what has happened today, so I have no news to present. We will be back on a regular schedule tomorrow and we can focus on trying to figure out pressing issues like what hideous tattoo Josh Harrellson has on his shoulder blade. But until then, I cant help but be happy and optimistic….and that is a great feeling.