What a week it’s been! It’s taken me a few days to process it all. First, Barack Obama became our president-elect, earning more than 65 million votes, the largest for a Democratic candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Second, the Democratic Party increased its majorities in both houses of Congress. And finally, three states — most notably California — voted to enshrine discrimination and prejudice against gays and lesbians into their state constitutions. The first two were certainly occasions for celebration. For me, the third almost takes away all of the joy from the first two victories.

I spent most of the day on Tuesday in Portsmouth visiting Shawnee State University. I got home around 5:30. After the past two presidential elections, I was afraid to get my hopes up. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want John McCain to become president after the terrible campaign he had waged, but you never know what’s going to happen on election day.

It was with both great hope and great fear, therefore, that PJ and I started watching the election coverage. It was especially frustrating that the media wouldn’t call any important states — Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida — for Obama. We were relieved when Pennsylvania was called. That meant that McCain’s chances were greatly diminished. Then the results for Ohio came in and everyone knew that it was basically over. I can’t even begin to explain how joyous that realization was! We had won!

I haven’t always been a Barack Obama supporter. In the primaries I supported Hillary. I liked the Clinton years, and I thought that she would make a great president. When the campaign first started, though, I had hoped that Obama would run. While I like Hillary, I worried that America didn’t really want to return to the past. I feared that the Republican Party had effectively tarnished the country’s memories of the Clinton years and reduced them to a blow job in the Oval Office. I thought that Obama’s effort to turn the page on the past and make a new beginning would be a better platform for winning back the White House.

(more…)