I'm a 71 year old, retired architect who is proud to have been a long-time liberal since the day I left home to attend UC Berkeley and said "goodbye" to the ultra-conservative, fundamentalist Christian upbringing of my first 18 years.
Don't get me wrong, I loved my father, a successful Christian church minister, and also my mother, a generous and loving mother and registered nurse. I had a wonderful childhood in a small farming community in California, and loved the carefree life filled with laughter, swimming, and baseball. My parents, who didn't have much to begin with, were the most generous people in the world.
But living in such a conservative household was like having a giant C-clamp on my head that was periodically being given an ideological tightening, mentally very painful.
Since my years at Berkeley, I've watched the gut-wrenching events of the Kennedys' assassinations, the killings of Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers and the Freedom Riders, Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam War, the chaos of the 60's, the incompetence and resignation of Nixon, and finally, the horror of the last eight Bush years.
Now, I feel like I'm witnessing a new day, and the clouds of gray seem to have a slightly silver lining to them. Let's hope America, with the election of Barack Obama, has turned away from that old conservative ideology that repeats the mistakes of the past.
I'm a 44-year-old, unapologetic Democrat living in one of those "anti-American" pockets of America along with all my cultural elite friends and family. (Although I do have some backwoods fundamentalist relatives--they live close by in the "pro-American" part of this state over in the foreclosure capital of the U.S.)
I spent this election nervous the whole time, even with double digit leads in the polls. I comforted myself by forcing myself to think "if those 47 million uninsured Americans don't have the sense to vote in their self-interest, to hell with them." You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them think.
And then look, my whole faith in common sense was restored!
Will the next four years end these wars, restore our image in the world's eyes, put our economy back on track, and raise Americans' hopes for their future and their children's futures? We certainly have newfound optimism.
We're going to blog anonymously so we won't feel so bad when the nut-jobs come out of the woodwork to attack us, after all, we might be related to some of them!