I’m not stupid enough to think that racism is dead, or even dormant.  I live in the Deep South, after all.

If you feel disenfranchised by our President-elect because you disagree with his politics, that’s fine.  I’ve been there.  If you are worried because we now have a Muslim waiting to take office, or that our future President pals around with terrorists, or that your taxes are going to get raised — well, that tells me more about you than it does about anything else.

And that’s fine, too. I’m used to the idea that people are lazy enough to believe competition-driven lies without bothering to research the truth on their own.

But if you’re one of those advocating his assassination because of the color of his skin, or you think that his race disqualifies him?  Well, let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that black — or any non-white, since you like extreme statements — people are inferior.  The president that you probably voted for in the last two elections was utterly incompetent, and has probably done or supported the doing of more harm to our country than I could ever have imagined possible.  It would take an act of whatever god you believe in for Obama to do more damage than W has for the past eight years.

So, with W being as white as they come, where does that put you? In the company of incompetence?

Does it truly scare you that much, that someone slighty different than you in such an immaterial way could be better, smarter, a President with more potential for good, than you?

The current state of the Union?  Not nearly as intelligent as I would hope.

Change indeed

Among the many historic things from Tuesday, like me making it to 37, is this: for the first (and possibly, it wouldn’t surprise me, the last) time, I voted for someone rather than against a person or ideal.  For all of Palin’s rhetoric about being an outsider, she’s as much if not more politician than anyone else; I genuinely don’t get that feeling about Obama.  Yeah, I’m possibly wrong, and you can do your irritating little happy dance in two years when he reveals his great campaigning lies, but until then, I feel like we’ve put a normal guy in to the highest office of the US.

This is one of those things that everyone has to decide for themselves, sure, but every politician on the national level has struck me as untouchable, like a celebrity.  Go back, though, and watch Obama’s last appearance on The Daily Show, and tell me he doesn’t have some sort of je ne c’est quoi that separates him from the rest.  Or how about this little bit from the latest Newsweek:

The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”

I can’t imagine having a few shots with Clinton or Palin or Kennedy.  It’s partly the politician and, I’m sure, partly the fact that I’m not an Ivy League graduate from money with blind ambitions of power and control. And while I’m sure that Barack Obama wouldn’t fit in too happily at Bailey’s, at least I can imagine it happening in a somewhat real-world way.  It’s that real-world quality that puts him in a league of (as of now and the foreseeable future) one.

Change (yeah. We did.)

I’m happy that change is afoot. I’m happy that it’s the change that I voted for.  I’m hesitantly excited, seeing the potential but also aware of the possibilities for things to go horribly awry.

What makes me happiest, though, is knowing that people like Fred Shuttleworth, F.D. Reese, and James Armstrong — and my parents, and everyone else that fought on any level to bring equality (on at least a legislated level) to this country — got to live long enough to see the fruits of their labor.  For all those that aren’t around to see it, at least there are some who can witness that their efforts weren’t in vain.

In the meantime, everyone watch this, and laugh.  Because after the last 21 months, we can finally all start to breathe again, and laughter is just excited breathing, really…