Folks, it’s official. After a very, very long season of campaigning, topped off by a harrowing hurricane that actually managed to take attention AWAY from the election if even for a few days, we finally made it to yesterday, an election day like none other that I can remember. And after hours upon hours of waiting in lines that rivaled the gas lines of late, followed by hours and hours of waiting for results, followed by another hour and half of waiting for Mitt Romney to concede, we have finally elected a President. And not just any President. Our very own incumbent President who will finally be able to get back to the task at hand without the unforgiving distractions of the campaign. (It always baffles me how a President, or any candidate in office for that matter, can be expected to campaign with equal tenacity and fervor as their opponent when they actually have a pretty important job do to). But despite a few hiccups – yes, we all know the first debate was not his best moment – President Obama pulled it out and in my opinion, spared us from four years that could have undone, in one fell swoop, much of the progress this country has made (Roe v. Wade was at risk of being overturned… need I say more?) I know I should keep my political leanings to myself in this forum, but I’m too relieved and too optimistic about what the next four years may bring. Now that the economy is recovering, the Iraq war is over, Afghanistan is winding down, and last but certainly not least, the mastermind behind 9/11 is dead, President Obama will finally have the opportunity to accomplish more of the goals he had set out to achieve four years ago when he first took office. To those with little faith, and there are obviously a LOT of you out there, I guess all I can say is that time will tell. And for those who supported him along, high fives all around. We did it! Onward and upward, or shall I say… FORWARD.
Back to the waiting, though. Despite how happy I am about the results, I was disappointed in how much freakin’ waiting went on yesterday. From the crack of dawn to the wee hours of the night, there were people left waiting – everywhere I turned, everyone I spoke to, every social media post I read, there it was: WAITING. I myself miraculously escaped the lines (I guess my polling center isn’t really the most popular in town) but my heart went out to the hundreds of thousands of people who did spend not one, but sometimes two or more hours in line at the polls. #stayinlinewas a trending topic as people were being encouraged by the larger colletive to stick it out. And I gotta hand it to people- boy did they. Hats off to people waiting out the cold to exercise their right to vote. It was uplifting to see the impossibly long lines and know that people were in it for the long haul. I have a newfound pride in Americans after last night because no matter who people were voting for, the important thing is that they voted.
And after waiting to vote, and then waiting for the results to come in state by state, would it have been too much to ask to not have to wait another painstaking 90 minutes to finally get to hear the President’s acceptance speech? I get that conceding was not going to be Romney’s favorite thing to do, but he should have done it much sooner- if not for respect for the President, then for the millions of Americans waiting for all the waiting to finally be over.
And now that the wait is over, voice your choice and tell us which of these songs about waiting is your favorite?
The Waiting (Tom Petty)
I’ll Be Waiting (Adele)
I’ll Be Waiting (Lenny Kravitz)
Waiting on the World to Change (John Mayer)