Yes We Did

It’s been a month since my last post.  The big budget bugaboo hasn’t put me out on the street or starved my cat to death or anything.  We’re actually doing better now — the price of gas dropped from $4.29 to $2.11 / gallon.  I filled up the car yesterday for $35…a month ago it cost nearly $70.  Now our family budget is merely elastic-waistband tight, not snare-drum-head tight.

So that huge bailout plan passed about a month ago…and we haven’t seen a single benefit from it yet.  The economy still reeks.  The news this morning said the NYSE dropped 10% in the past two days — yet another record drop.  Those record drops happen so often now that I’m blase’ over the whole tanking-economy thing.  Isn’t that sad?

And we elected Barrack Hussein Obama as our next President of the United States.  I’ll say it right up front: I never thought I’d see a black man elected to the presidency in my lifetime.  I sincerely thought that the combined prejudice of Americans would never let that happen, and I’m elated to have had that stereotype shattered.  Obama’s acceptance speech, given at midnight on a Chicago stage on Election Day, moved me to tears — not just through the power of his words, but from the realization that I may soon become proud to be an American once again.

The past eight years of Bush have severely shaken my pride in America.  The mere act of having him *appointed* by the Supreme Court in 2000 shook my faith in Democracy.  Another thing I’d never thought I’d see…I saw:  a president who was not elected, but appointed…and contrary to the popular vote, as well.  I could not believe that in 2004, the American people simply handed the country back to him.  My wife actually cried.  “How could they just do that?” she cried, “we just gave the country back to the super-rich.”  She was right, look at us now.

After eight years of Dubya attacking anyone and anything that farted sideways at the U.S., playground-bully style, the world views us as just that — playground bullies.  They’ve called the Bush presidency a “regime,” something we reserve for people like Saddam Hussein or Communism.  The world views Bush as a dictator, a despot, an unstable tyrant…and via a sort of “trickle-down” theory…they view the American people as some mixture of sad victims, spoiled brats, vulgar cretins and ignorant hicks.  Americans abroad are not greeted warmly, nor welcomed with open arms.  We’re the loudmouthed, tackily-dressed buffoons ruining everyone else’s quiet breakfast.

Well, the world has welcomed Barrack Obama with open arms.  It’s amazing.  I’m glad I’m here to see it.  Yes, I voted.  Yes, I voted for Barrack Obama — we voted for Barrack Obama.  Yes We Did.

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