Tuesday, November 6, 2012

If Tonight: Four Years Later

Today, people have expressed their voices by voting in this year's presidential election. Many have also spoken on a local and state level. I am excited about the coverage which I will find on TV, radio, and internet. This is one of those days where I am so excited to be in a country where this process unfolds before our eyes. I get such joy over evaluating the information being shared by some of the best journalists in the world. The thrill of breaking news and covering breaking news is something over which I will never get. This promises to be a special night. As I prepare to fully take in the election night returns, I wish to take time to look back to the presidential election of four years ago. It was a historical night. I was so moved at what transpired four years ago. Hearing that Barack Obama had been elected then watching the way people who had gathered in Chicago's Grant Park reacted to the news was one of the moments I will never forget. I was in awe of this country. I was in tears as I watched history unfold. Tonight, this country may decide to close the chapter on Barack Obama's term and elect Mitt Romney. This country might decide four more years of President Obama is what is needed. Either way, I hope you will enjoy the following essay which I wrote four years ago prior to the results being reported.

Tuesday November 4, 2008

"In Barack Obama, we get more than a president like Bill Clinton, we get a statesman like Abraham Lincoln." - Cornel West

Where is it born? The vision of a pioneer. The heart of a champion. For Joe, it comes from being a public servant over forty years. For Sara, it is leading the state of Alaska. For John, it is from fighting for his country even as a prisoner of war. For Barack, from being the voice of the under served mostly African American and latino population of Chicago. From the ashes of the primaries come these four ready to take their place in history. This country decides whether it wishes to elect its first African American president or first female vice president.

For a country which says it's one of the leaders of the globe, it has taken a long time to get here. Instead of praising our pioneers, we shut them up. John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Abraham Lincoln. Often, we read about them in our history books. Betsy Ross, Molly Pitcher, Susan B Anthony, and Cesar Chavez. Now, we are trusted to make history.

If the polls can be trusted then tonight is the night Barack Obama steps forward to take his place in history. As Isaac Newton once stated, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Obama will stand on the shoulders of generations past. He will also stand along side those giants. If tonight is the night as most expect then his mother and grandmother, both who died of cancer, will smile for they had major influences on him to make history. If tonight is the night, then all hands on deck as more than five million people are believed to travel from all parts of the country to converge on Grant Park to celebrate with Barack. If tonight is the night, then we will finally have someone in charge who is an expert in constitutional law so we can once again be a free nation. If tonight is the night then maybe our next challenge is to find a woman to elect down the line. If tonight is the night this country makes history and elects its first African American president, then those past pioneers; JFK, RFK, MLK, and Abe will enjoy a measure of satisfaction as well.

Thank you for lending me your readership. What gets lost on the conservative right is that being American and loving your country is the ability to agree, disagree, support, and criticize. You and I, we are the real America! There is only one. It is all real.

Israel Antonio

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