It is done.
Obama is the president elect of the U.S.
Sitting in front of the television last night and trying to watch about 8 different news channels simultaneously, after some of the networks started calling Pennsylvania and Ohio for Obama, it suddenly dawned on me that Obama was actually going to win. Like everyone else, I read the polls and I heard the pundits talking about an Obama lead in the weeks before the elections, but I guess I just didn't really believe it was going to happen. Not in my heart of hearts. When the realization dawned on me that it was a done deal and that Bush's days in the White House are numbered, I felt elated. But then, when I watched Obama deliver his acceptance speech, I felt moved and even a little choked. We have elected the right guy.
Before you take me for a party hack, a wuss or a wide-eyed imbecile, be aware that I am not a Democrat. I am a registered independent that was seriously considering voting for McCain before his ill fated Palin train wreck. However, something dramatic happened in this country last night. For one thing, the politics of hope and vision, won a battle against the politics of negativism and divisiveness. For another, minorities everywhere in this country have received proof positive that the highest office in the land is open to them too. The thought of millions of kids looking up to the President and seeing themselves in him, fills me with joy, and makes me truly proud to be an American (and people that really know me, know that I am not one to toss such statements around).
However, the joy is not complete. In a night that saw the old barriers of the civil rights era shattered, new barriers of discrimination are being put up. In my supposedly progressive home state of California, the voters have narrowly passed Proposition 8 eliminating the rights of single sex couples to marry. It is incredible to me that many people who have voted for Barak Obama for President with full awareness of the historic significance of their vote, at the very same time cast a vote for segregation on the basis of sexual preference. It is even more troubling that the analysts are claiming that 7 of 10 black voters in my state voted for Prop 8 and for the elimination of single sex marriage. The very same people who suffered from horrible discrimination against them simply because of the color of their skin, have willingly cast a vote to discriminate against others on the basis of their sexual orientation. So, while I am proud to be an American on this day, I am embarrassed to be a Californian. Live and let live!
Two final statements.
Obama has a tough job ahead of him, and since I am a free market capitalist, there are many areas in which I strongly disagree with Obama's positions. These include free trade, the role of labor unions and corn ethanol subsidies to name just a few esoteric examples. I will continue to speak vocally against economic policies that I consider wrong, regardless of who is advocating for them.
I feel that I have spent too many posts in recent weeks on the subject of politics, and while I will continue to occasionally write about political issues and other off topic items (hey this is MY blog), I will now return to my primary focus which is personal finance. I have many cool posts lined up for the coming weeks, including: how to reduce the cost of auto insurance; diversifying your portfolio into carbon credits (yeah, you can actually do that); and my experiences with getting my free annual credit reports. I also realize that I haven't published any new interactive tools in quite some time, so I have a few of those planned for the near future. Stay tuned. Good days are coming.