North Carolina voted for him. Virginia, the Old Dominion, the capital of the Confederate States of America, voted for him. Omaha, Nebraska voted for him.
He won 52.4% of the popular vote, a percentage not attained in any presidential election since 1964 when Lyndon Johnson did it. He is the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to get more than half the vote. Bill Clinton never got more than half. Obama has a mandate George W. Bush never had.
12.3% of the U.S. is African American. The vast majority of them voted for Barack, which means at least 40% of American voters voted for a candidate of a different racial background than themselves. While minorities have had to do this up until now, they rarely had any other option.
But more than U.S. History, this is world history. When was the last time a dark-skinned person presided over paler people? South Africa is a modern example, but when else in history? One has to go back to the Muslim invasion of Spain or the Balkans, or Ancient Egypt.
But when was it willing? When was it peaceful? When did, through a peaceful transfer of power, did a majority decide to be led by a minority? Benjamin Disraeli, the prime minister of Great Britain in the 1870’s, was ethnically Jewish, but a practicing Anglican. Lenin was part Jewish, but was raised in the Orthodox faith. Septimius Severus was the first and only Roman emperor born in Africa, but the busts of him show he’s clearly a white guy.
This is history, ladies and gentlemen. A man born from a union that was at the time illegal in Virginia and North Carolina, would on November 4th of this year win those states’ vote to preside over the free world, to be commander-in-chief of its entire military arsenal, and to be its face to the world.
For a long time I didn’t believe the American dream was real for every American. I believed my country was unfair and that the game was stacked. Thank God Obama came by when America was at its lowest and had the audacity to believe that everything it proclaimed was true, and in the process proving it so.
Conservatives knew patriotism on September 11th, 2001. Liberals knew patriotism on November 4th, 2008. What a rollercoaster this decade’s been. Two years to go…
Jason Stürmer is a contributor for (RR).