People cannot stop crying. I explained the emotion to a friend: it's like having PMS and menopause while watching Atonement. It taxes the heart.
At Camp Obama we had to share our story of how we came to be involved with the campaign. I told my fellow campers that George W. Bush was sworn in to office shortly after Risa and Vida were born. Then came 9/11 and its aftermath of war and torture and racism and scapegoating, and hatred and...let's see what else? Oh, yes: disregard for the Constitution.
By the time 2004 rolled around, Lea was 2-years-old, the twins were 4-years-old, and I was beginning to question the wisdom of having decided to bring any children at all into what was beginning to look like a seriously fucked up place. Then Kerry lost, the tsunami buried entire villages, and Katrina made clear once and for all the danger of choosing to ignore the poverty that's right in front of our faces. "Helpless" is not too strong a word to describe my feelings at the time.
It wasn't until the New Hampshire primary and Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" speech—a speech delivered in defeat, remember—that I was able to change my question from, "What kind of world will my children inherit?" to "What kind of world can I help create for my children?"
That's why I joined the campaign, and that's why I'll continue to be engaged. Besides, our new President made a promise last night:
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there.
I believe him.