Everyone says this is a seminal moment in history and that people will remember where they were and what they were doing when Obama was declared president-elect of the USA, as the first ever black president, just like they remember where they were when Neil Armstrong took his small step, or when Challenger blew up or on 9/11.
Since my memory is like a steel seive, I’m making a note here to my future self: I was watching election coverage on TV, and McCain had a very early lead with only a tiny fraction of districts reporting. We went to the OSC fall general meeting, and I got home at 21:00 or so expecting to have to wait hours like the last election in the US to hear anything. I turned on the TV and was surprised to see them declare Obama the winner.
I was amazed it was over so fast, and pleased that hope and rationality had achieved such a resounding victory against fear mongering, ignorance, old-boy politics and the old guard.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I heard that Proposition 8 in California had passed. I’m not gay and in fact know very few gay people. Gayness makes me slightly uncomfortable, but mostly only in the way that you feel uncomfortable from anything you’re not around alot. What the hell, I’m from a redneck city. However, I think that California banning gay marriage was a gross injustice that amounts to legalized discrimination and nothing more, and I was very shocked to hear that somewhere that I consider fairly progressive (at least for Americans) would be so intolerant. Also disappointing but less surprising were ballots in Florida and Arizona banning gay marriage and one in Arkansas banning gay couples from adopting children. This stuff shows there is still a long way to go.
I was pleased to see though that Proposition 2 in Michigan to allow stem cell research was passed. Banning stem cell research was one of the more boneheaded moves instigated by religious right nuts in the US. Another positive result was the failure of Proposition 48 in Colorado defining human life as existing from conception. Washington even passed a ballot to allow doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. It’s about time society matured a bit down there and stopped listening to religious nuts trying to impose first century superstitions on people by law.
I guess if I was American you’d call me a libertarian.