Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

I know this doesn't solve everything, but I'm very pleased with the American people tonight.

Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States of America.

One of the most interesting things I have found during the presidential election is the Facebook conversation surrounding this major event. I've been so disheartened by people my age and younger spouting off about how Obama is a Socialist and a Muslim and a Communist and basically the cause of America's impending downfall. These kids are so taken in by the dominant ideology, in this case their fundamentalist upbringing, that they don't see the need to critically evaluate the information they are given. These kids are praising Rush Limbaugh and his take on the election and the candidates. They cite YouTube videos that have spliced speeches on both sides of the campaign to fabricate messages the candidates would never endorse. And the worst bit of all, they parrot this stuff back without ever considering who they are excluding, damning, disregarding, and hurting.

I described their Facebook conversations to another friend as a parade of ignorance. It might be harsh, but their words are the direct product of a lack of experience of anything outside their privileged, Baptist, heteronormative, middle class lives.

So...I'm blissfully pleased about the outcome of this presidential election. I believe that our country has the potential to move in a new direction, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next four years.

But, I'm still worried about the Facebook kids. I know there will always be Fundamentalists and a new president will not change that. However, I want these young people to understand what is happening in the real world. And, I guess I want this for them because I've been where they are. It is by no means an impossible trip. They can open their minds. I just hope that more of them decide to.

"I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight..." - Barack Obama, November 5th acceptance speech.

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