The rains came last Thursday, giving us many hours of sitting indoors in front of the woodstove and time to reflect on Obama's re-election. We couldn't believe how quickly the night was over on Tuesday. Not five minutes after the polls closed here in California, Obama was declared the winner. Just like that, our fear gave way to joy. Our minds were blown. Our hearts were elated. Sighs of relief and peals of laughter. Such a moment.
By Thursday I had seen that red/blue election map with its stark contrasts way too many times. Oh yes, that map screams we are a country divided with those hard, impenetrable lines. On that rainy Thursday I had all this time on my hands and a map that totally annoyed me. So, I set out to color the map in a way that better reflects the crazy purple country that we are. It took several hours to construct this crude symbol, but I think it more clearly shows by percentages of red and blue what we we really look like.
OTOH, we really don't look like that purple map at all. We look more like this. Rural areas lean red, urban areas lean blue. I sincerely wonder why that is. I heard the right-wing lament all across the internet, the airwaves, the newspapers oh how they had lost their country. They were "outnumbered." They were overrun by the "takers" instead of the "makers." The country is no longer "white." OH SHUT UP, I screamed at them. It is they who have forgotten the dream and promise of our country, not us.
I had Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changin" in my head for days. It made me glad to remember. It also made me consider that nearly fifty years had passed since he wrote those words. When I was not yet a teenager, I expected those changes to come so quickly. I could hardly wait. As I got older I feared they would not come at all. Now I know and remember that, "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice" (Martin Luther King).
A quote from Truthout, Rabbi Michael Lerner:
...liberals and progressives do have something to celebrate. The vast majority of Americans still yearn for a world based on generosity, caring for each other, caring for the environment, respecting difference (racial, gender, sexual orientation) and eliminating poverty and war. Though the Democratic Party and the re-elected president will provide few avenues to advance this kind of an agenda, Americans used the only available mechanism they had for publicly reaffirming this commitment.It's why we vote, and will always vote, and will protect the rights of all to do the same.