Logically, I know it's all cosmetic. There is very little difference, philosophically, between Barack Obama and John McCain. Things aren't going to magically change, the war will continue, the economy is still tanking. My salary will remain the same, even as I'm charged more for health care. Even with Democrats in charge of all branches of government, the poor will continue to be ignored, if not actively despised. And despite the color of our new president's skin, prejudice and hatred aren't going away any time soon.
But watching Obama's acceptance speech, dammit, I teared up a little. Thousands and thousands of people cheering him, united not, as McCain's supporters were, by hatred but by hope, by belief in a future they never even dared to dream about. Those dreams will be dashed soon enough, I'm sure, but for now, it feels good. It feels good to think that we finally have a president who can speak not only in coherent sentences but full, concise paragraphs, who has already proven himself capable of earning the respect of other nations, who at least seems to care. And yes, too, there is his racial identity, a president whose mixed blood lines reflect the America most of us know.
Maybe it's only a passing moment, but for now, there is hope.