Witnessing history; this is what I plan to do for the rest of my life, and this is what occurred last night.
I woke up at seven in the morning to stress. My mother was speaking ridiculously fast, saying that there will be no way that we could get to the polls, wait, vote, and be able to get to work and class on time. This being my first time to vote, I begged her to go with me. She finally gave in once I threw in the emotional card. It took her so long to get ready, that even I was losing hope about the time issue. Near thirty minutes later, we were in our cars and on our way. We pulled up to Robious Middle School (which brought back weird, but good memories) and saw that there were only a few other cars there, maybe fifteen. I was confused and worried that the weather was keeping potential voters away from casting their vote, but I was there to do my part. I walked a little too fast into the school; I couldn't hide my huge smile, and it was clear that this was my first time. The greeters were really sweet and kept thanking my mom and I for coming out and doing the right thing. We walked into the gymnasium and went right up to the table for clarification of my name and address, and then it was time for me to vote. I went into the little boxed in area and colored in OBAMA/BIDEN, WARNER, and HARTKE. As I finished, I kept looking over the ballot multiple times to make sure that I didn't color the wrong circles. I placed the paper in the machine and watched my vote actually be counted. I was the number 534.
All together, it took about two minutes; my mother was wrong. If I had not made her get out of bed, her vote would have been lost just like so many people in the US. She continuously thanked me for getting her out of bed, and was proud that I was so avid to get my voice heard. We actually had so much time after we voted that we went to Starbucks, and then breakfast. I really had fun with her that morning, which doesn't happen much. Plus, we had faith in the fact that our votes would count in this election. We had hope that Obama would win.
All throughout the day, nothing could have ruined my mood. I was an official voter for someone I strongly believed in. I counted down the minutes in my head til the time that I could see coverage of the election. I remember around the time that McCain had not even hit 100 electoral votes, yet Obama had around 175. Suddenly, McCain's numbers started escalating and I really began to worry. He was still behind, but the states that counted the most had not been announced yet. All of a sudden, it appeared that Obama won Virginia. He turned a 44 year strong Republican state, into a blue one. I was SO happy. I have lived in Richmond all of my life, and felt that it would remain a red state for years to come, and I am so proud that the people have changed their opinions. It's not so much that Virginia decided to elect Senator Obama, it was that they trusted a Democratic man to rule their country. So after I saw this, I called my close friend Hayden and was freaking out, but then I changed the channel. All I heard was Katie Couric yelling "SENATOR OBAMA IS THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE FIRST AFRICAN- AMERICAN TO BECOME A US PRESIDENT!!" I was pretty confused; one channel had just stated that Obama won VA's vote with around 220 electoral votes, and then it jumps right to the fact that he is the actual President-elect on another channel. I was still on the phone with Hayden when I saw this so I started yelling even more, which confused her, too. We said we would call each other later, because we needed to figure this out. Thomas and I started flipping through all of the channels and it was true, Obama was the President-elect. WE FLIPPED OUT. Our votes counted! And we couldn't stop thinking about the fact that America has a Democratic President who established history.
We heard loud masses of yelling out in the streets, so we decided to join in. We rushed out into the hallway and got onto the most crowded elevator I had ever been in (VCU is obviously Democratic). Right outside of Johnson Hall, on Laurel St., there were already over 100 people celebrating. People were standing on top of cars and blasting music. People were cheering for Obama, and I heard multiple times people yelling, "MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK!" It made me really happy to hear that everyone around me was just as excited as I was. It felt like a surreal night, because I didn't think anything like this would come true for years.
Just two years ago, I was talking to someone about when I believed America would have a black President. I remember saying that it probably wouldn't happen until my children could vote, so around 30 years. I felt like America would only elect white, elderly males into office for years to come (I didn't want this at all, clearly, it just seemed that way). I had no idea that just in two years, we would have a black President that many of my friends, family, and I would help into the office. As of now, I am so happy to say that I live in America and am led by Barack Obama. He is my perfect President and reminds me of two incredible men who led the people in the right direction in the short time that they lived: John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr..
Just Obama and his beliefs changed my thoughts on politics. I used to believe that politics was bull, and that I should make my own opinions and not stick to a political party, but he made me a Democrat. He made me believe that what is right, is what is in favor of the people.
I know we won't be disappointed with his administration. He is a rule- following, do-good, thoughtful homebody. This is why it upsets me that people can go so low as to say that he is a terrorist, a Muslim, not born in the country, and all of the other gibberish I have seen pop up throughout the campaigning. Yes, his middle name is Hussein, not James. Does that mean we can judge him? If my middle name was Muhammad, I would still be the same person. A name is a name, and if that makes you think less of a person, then there is something wrong with your judgments. His white mother and black father gave him that name and molded him into the person he is now. I want to know what makes people think that he is of a different nationality or religion than the ones that he truly is. He is a Christian American, born in Hawaii. He attends Church regularly. His preacher may be controversial, but who isn't? Obama is not his preacher, meaning they don't agree on every issue. Obama believes in a civil union between homosexuals, which is gay marriage with another name. Would his preacher agree with that? I'm just confused as to why so many people are ignorantly casting these outrageous judgments towards a man like him. He wants to change us for the better, and he wants to see the U.S. become the best it has been in history. So what is there to judge?
Remember, remember the 5th of November. January 20, 2009 <3