Yes We Did.
And thankfully, for us all, the Blue States have represented, and it did not turn into a misery fueled Palin-hating cupcake eating contest.
We still aren't Palin fans here at the Bachelor Pad, but it was hilarious to compare the Concession Speech to the Acceptance Speech. While McCain remains my "favorite Republican", and he was a good sport about it, his crowd was booing (and swearing?) in less than classy fashion whenever he mentioned Obama. (And to a certain extent, when he mentioned his Vice Presidential candidate. Ouch.)
I have to say that Obama really impressed me with his speech; We have seen thoughtful, dignified, and well spoken Presidents in the past, but not all at the same time, at least not since I was born. He was very humble about the challenges he's inheriting, and had nothing but nice things to say about McCain (and even Negative Nancy over there), and it was also great to hear his crowd cheer for them right along with him. I have had mixed feelings about voting Democrat, as an alternative to Republicanism rather than a genuine trust in the party, but between the representative crowds on TV (and my own resident poorly informed "I'm not racist but I don't like black people" pro-McCain co-worker), I definitely feel like I have done the right thing, at least as far as our two party electoral college system is concerned.
I am not so idealistic as to believe that our President can be a good enough example to us all, that we can all become better Americans... But even in his acceptance speech, the time when politicians are allowed to whoop and jump up and down a little, he refrained from tooting his own horn. He was humble, and, as CNN even put it, "somber", about the shit we are going to have to go through; He was definitely accepting responsibility, rather than claiming victory. He didn't mention God and Gay people and Republicans in the same sentence, but they all got some positive air time, which I think is awesome.
Because despite all the comments about "real america" still lingering in the air like stale farts, he was respectful and conciliatory, and pointed out that running America is about bringing together an incredibly diverse population of people. (Not just sucking up to the richest, most easily offended ones, apparently.) He took time to reach out to the people who didn't vote for him, and seemed genuinely concerned about winning their trust. It was like one of those Presidents you only see in sci-fi and disaster movies, the kind who genuinely gives a shit about his people and the issues facing his country, and doesn't lose a lot of time choking on pretzels and falling off segways.
And the voting statistics seem to agree... Not only is this the highest voting turnout in American history, but a vast majority of these people signed up for the first time to vote for him, and It's a pretty resounding victory in opinion polls as well. It has certainly restored some of my faith in America; I'm sure there are people who voted Obama for the wrong reasons, but I have to assume that his voters suffered through the same debate and stump-speech footage that I did without being swayed towards "real america" or freaking out about "socialism". (Hey, kids! It turns out that there's actually a Socialist Party, and they don't endorse him.)
It sounds like he's already put a lot of thought into his agenda and staff selection; Some have called that presumptuous, but he may surprise us by putting more work and consideration into his job by the end of the day tomorrow than our current president has done in the last... Fuck, seriously, what has Bush done in 2008? Anything? (Commenting on stuff and endorsing Republican candidates doesn't count.)
It's going to take me a while to adjust to having a president that I actually respect, but I am willing to make that effort if he, in turn, is willing to continue to be the kind of person who actually deserves the position. I am going to miss the snark and the America jokes, but with time, I could probably get used to not despising my executive government.