In 2008 I was invited to attend the Obama rally in Grant Park by Katness. Her husband wasn't interested in going to a crowded event and I was apparently the first person to respond to her email. Though an Obama supporter, I wasn't so much into the politics and policies other than wanting an end to the madness that was the majority of the Naughties. Mostly, it felt like something special was in the air, and I naturally wanted to be part of it.
That November was unseasonably warm and perfect weather for a rally in Grant Park. I'm sure a lot of people felt it was Divine Intervention, or at least Celestial Approval of our country's first black president. Facebook was still relatively new to those who weren't members because of their college .edu email address. I could barely get a signal in the park because everyone was tweeting, posting and texting to anyone they could about this historic event. I do recall the temperature seemed to suddenly drop and it went from a pleasant autumn evening to a cold November night, a foreshadowing of the next four years it now appears.
In the days after the election, many of my conservative republican friends, especially the subset that are close-minded bigots, spewed hatred about what a mistake we had made. Apparently Obama became the first president to do so much damage with his presidential authority before even being sworn in, a constitutional technically my bigoted friends chose to ignore.
Four years later, the weather was not as pleasant and instead of an outdoor rally, the Victory Party was held indoors. Nightingale and I stayed home although I think Katness and J were in the vicinity of McCormack Place if not actually there. The one thing that is the same is the hysteria, the venom and the crazy from the close minded bigots. My Facebook feed is about evenly divided by those who feel we made the right choice and those who feel that we are dead in the water.
The thing is, I'm certain that if Facebook had been around during the 2000 and even the 2004 elections, a younger even less mature Icarus would be posting similar things about Bush. All the people who are bitching and whining about Obama today would have been cheering and jeering about Bush back then.
Just because Bush and Obama won their elections doesn't imply either has a mandate. That those elections were so close relatively speaking just means they managed to get a few more votes than the other person.
What it really comes down to is our country is so divided right now and has been for so long. Instead of figuring out how to solve problems and fix this country, each side is bent on making sure nothing happens that could be perceived as a victory for the other party.
We need to come together as a country and figure out how to fix things instead of tear it further apart. We need to truly understand the meaning of the word compromise and accept that we won't get anything we want if we aren't willing to make some concessions for what we don't want.