Last night, people were dancing in the streets. Rightfully so. Whether those on the left voted for Obama or not, it's hard to not identify with the sheer joy of delivering a strong defeat to American conservatism and electing the first Black president in a country build on racism.
The catharsis was intense. In Chicago, well over a million people turned out to the big rally at Grant Park. In other cities, where there was no official avenue for the celebrations to be channeled into, there were spontaneous eruptions of hope and the feeling that change, real change, is indeed possible. In DC, thousands of people unexpectedly turned up at the White House to celebrate and shout jeers through the wall at the present administration. The streets of San Francisco's Castro district were flooded with celebrants, despite the ban on gay marriage in California passing. Campuses saw rallies and marches made of hundreds of students shouting and cheering the end of an ugly era.
What Obama does after he gets into office is hard to tell, though he has made clear that he intends to "reach across the aisle," and that this is the time for us to make "sacrifice." To thousands of young people, to the organizers, activists, artists and musicians who have poured their time and passion into the campaign, there is a feeling that even more is possible. That this sea change in politics is happening alongside one of the biggest economic crises this country has ever seen means that we can't stop here.
Now's the time for us to really kick out the jams.