SWhen I was little, I used to whittle crayons into the shapes of the heads of various Presidential candidates during election time. Why? Nobody knows. But it's that childlike and irrationally exuberant enthusiasm I'd like to muster right now. Think of election night as a sort of prom for the nation—for one night, the jocks and the preps and the princesses and the thugs can put aside their petty rivalries, cynicism, and class boundaries, and slow-dance with Obama. It's one of those bittersweet nights where you really believe that, you know, anything can happen.It's been a long time without a whole lotta change, especially if you're young. Long enough to make you think that you don't care, and it doesn't matter. But after eight dark years of Bush—plus eight years of Clintonian disappointment before that, and four years of the current President's dad before that—what do we have to lose in being hopeful about a president who appears to be unlike any other we've seen in our lifetime? Would it kill us to imagine a place where we don't have to wait six hours in the emergency room and be presented with a $3,000 bill because we don't have health insurance? Does it make sense to feel embarrassed every time you venture abroad? Is it not totally crazy to imagine that a clerk working 40 hours a week at CVS might be able to take home more than $286? Must balancing your—or America's—checkbook really involve criminal survival economics and voodoo math? Is it completely fucking insane to envision a nation that doesn't invade other countries for a fabricated wild-goose nuclear weapons chase, oil, or fun? No. No it is not. Are you so mad as hell that you're not going to take it anymore? It's OK. Are you bored and disillusioned and tired of politics? Understandable. But something's happening, although what isn't exactly clear. Forgive us for getting caught up in the moment, but it feels like something's moving. Obama will be the first to tell you that he ain't no Jesus, black or otherwise. But tonight, we say without snark: we feel hopeful.
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