Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

I Want To Be In Chicago!


I have just woken up to the amazing news that a black man has been elected President of the USA, and I am in bits. As a South African, who witnessed Nelson Mandela become President of South Africa in 1994, I know just how good Americans are feeling right now. We embraced change then, and you have embraced change now. In the words of our great President on his inauguration in Pretoria:

The time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us.

We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.

We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

I think that Barack Obama has succeeded in implanting hope. He will be an amazing leader – dignified, strong, decisive, humane, compassionate – very unlike the kinds of leaders that the world has seen in the last eight years. I hope this is not only a new era in the USA but a new era of leadership in the world. I also think there are going to be some amazing parties in Chicago and all over the USA tonight!

PS: Thanks to the American nation, I will never dye my hair again. I’m going grey with Obama.

I’m posting this as part of the Virtual Post-Election Bash, being hosted by the wonderful Diane of Martinis for Two. Check out the other bloggers who are taking part:

Andrea (Germany)
Christina (Germany)
Claire (Germany)
Claire (Great Britain)
Diane Mandy
Dianne (U.S.)
Eusmaca (U.S.)
Evercurious (U.S.)
G in Berlin (Germany)
Ian in Hamburg (Germany)
J (Germany)
Jul (Germany)
Princess Extraordinaire (U.S.)
Sizzle (U.S)
Snooker (Germany)
Vailian (Germany)

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

26 thoughts on “I Want To Be In Chicago!

  1. It is a good day!

  2. Today is one day to be completely and utterly proud to be an American. What an exciting time to be part of this new chapter in our great country. I want to be in Chicago, too. Since I can’t, I’ll instead celebrate with all the others cheering here in San Francisco.

  3. What a wonderful post and unique perspective Charlotte! Thank you for sharing!

  4. I’ve just woken up to the news, too. I’m reading Obama’s memoir at the moment and am very impressed by it. Anyone who writes their memoir before getting into office is a hugely worthy candidate, I think!

  5. Hope and change have come to America – indeed!!

  6. I’ve been glued to the internet and TV all afternoon – I’m so excited!

  7. The speech was indeed excellent and I wanted to be in Chicago too. Here’s to a return to a sense of sanity for the US.

  8. What a sense of relief I feel — it feels completely different to be an American today than it did just a couple days ago … I’m so glad America can be a source of inspiration right now.

  9. Yes, there is great hope.
    Before Obama, Americans worried that Medicare was failing. There wasn’t enough money for it. Fewer and fewer doctors will accept new Medicare patients, because they can’t afford to be paid at its rates. Those who are still willing to do so (Mayo Clinic, for a prominent example) charge rates above what Medicare will reimburse them.
    Before, working Americans worried that Social Security would run out of funds before they retired. They believed that they could not count on having Social Security in their retirement.
    Now, all Americans will be able to have medical coverage. There is enough money for it.
    Now, we will have tax “refunds” –actually, transfer payments–paid to all lower-income Americans (at present, 40% of lower income Americans do not pay income taxes). Like Social Security, but for Americans of pre-retirement age. And we don’t have to worry any longer about running out of funds. There is enough money for it. This is surely good news for Social Security recipients, and for those who had despaired of ever receiving Social Security in the future, as well.
    Once upon a time in America, if you had a black grandparent, you were counted as black, and then we knew better; for that was prejudice, not to mention bad math.
    Now if you have one black parent, you are counted as black.
    And he is able to extend Medicare and Social Security to all.
    Yes, there is great hope in the land.

  10. Oh so did I! Actually, I’ve wanted to be an American for the last eight hours which is very strange. What a marvellous speech and result.

  11. thank you for your comments yesterday – last night!!

    you and Rob sharing your South African voting perspective really moved a lot of us.

    I am aching with lack of sleep and pent up excitement.

  12. It does have a similar feel to the South African 1994 elections – not quite as momentous really, and there is only one Madiba – but still pretty inspiring!

  13. Yes, hope hope and more hope is coming. I can’t wait to see what our new President can do!

  14. My sister was there in Grant Park last night. I kept calling her to tell her how jealous I was as I sat on my sofa in the wee hours of London time. Only getting three hours of sleep was so worth it to see the results come in and hear that speech.

  15. My 16-year old son said last night, “I want to stay up late to hear my new President speak.” And a 65-year old friend who spent the day as a poll watcher in New Mexico wept when she quoted from Obama’s victory speech. After 8 years of hearing about “mandates,” it was refreshing to hear talk about “hope and healing.” To their credit, McCain gave a gracious concession speech and Obama did not gloat (like the current President) in his victory. I think it was American politics and democracy as our founding fathers intended it to be.

  16. I remember the anti-Apartheid rallies at my university. I remember when Mandela became your president. I was ecstatic! I thought, this is great and this is good — and now I’m feeling it again. We’ve overcome something bigger than Bush.

  17. Last night I was hit with the wonderful realization that my children would be growing up in a very different world than the one I, or their grandparents grew up in. Already it seems like a much better world. Reason indeed to be very proud.

  18. It’s amazing how some events seem to transfix everybody–Obama, hopefully like Mandela, will be somebody we remember for the ages.

  19. Yes, yes, yes. I have cried on and off all day… the end of the our current path and the beginning of a new age… it’s all so hard to take in right now.

  20. I joined the party late, but what an amazing day!! How especially amazing for you. Wow!

  21. Pingback: Drunk on Obama « Couch trip

  22. What I loved most was it was a goddammed landslide! None of this dithering about and agonising over hang chads and whatnots..

  23. *hangING chads*…

  24. I am amazed at how moved I am by the result. I turned on the TV on Wednesday morning to see the news and immediately burst into tears of relief. There are so many parallels with the SA elections of 1994 – the idea that you are part of something bigger than yourself and that you are seeing history in the making. Nick was in Chicago on Tusday night, in Michigan Ave that runs beside Grant Park and he says it was incredible. Colour me greenwith envy. The best is that America has gone from a president who never seemed to have ventured far from Texas prior to is presidency, to a man with family in Africa (real, tangible relatives, not some vague notion of “my people came from Africa”), lived in Asia, and has a middle-Eastern middle name. He is truly a global president – and that’s exactly what America needs now.

    The result confirmed the power of a democracy at its very best and I hope the message was not lost on the people of South Africa. FORGET YOUR APATHY! VOTE! It can make a difference, even against the odds.

  25. I am proud and happy to be an American today. Hope, healing and happiness abound in my heart and I wish it for our whole country.

    Meanwhile, my local paper has completely ignored the fact that we elected a president and is trying to pretend that if they don’t talk about it maybe it will go away. It is patently obvious that there is still a lot of change needing to happen in this neck of the woods. Egads.

  26. I think it’s a great era for America. I was behind him all the way…not that I got to vote lol but you get what I mean

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