We spent election night 2012 at a friend’s house in Park Slope. Dinner was jittery—but delicious. As we drank copious amounts of Italian wine, we agonized about an America governed by Mitt Romney; fantasized about four more years with Obama. Any optimism was quelled by our host, who is extremely superstitious.
At 9:30, media projections shifted in Obama’s direction. At 10:18 Fox News, of all places, projected Obama the winner. The night just got better and better after that.
We walked home early Wednesday morning before Romney’s concession and Obama’s acceptance. Annoyance set in as we wondered why Romney was being such a sore sport. Lights were on in Park Slope windows but Seventh Avenue was quiet, nothing like 2008 when streets were filled with ecstatic citizens and honking cars.
Once home we settled on the couch with the television on. Waiting. Finally, finally at 1:30AM or so we listened, rapturously, as Obama delivered an inspiring and gracious acceptance speech, the best speech of the campaign.
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.