Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the day

I admit it: I'm a political junkie. Days like today are like the Super Bowl, World Series and NBA final combined. I've been a political junkie all my life. One of my heroes is a politician, I was even partly named after a statesman.

Growing up, election day was always an important day. Elections take place on Sundays in Germany and it felt like a really nice ritual to accompany my parents in our best clothes to the voting booth. Around 5pm we gathered around the TV with a cup of coffee and cake, waiting for the polls to close and the first results to come in at 6pm. (It helps to live in a country without time zones.) Being a Social Democrat, there were bad days and there were really good days. But election days and the fallout always gave me this feeling of the natural changes in life: There are good days. And there are bad days. Days when you're on the victorious side, days when you're on the losing side.

This is the first election since 1990 (the first election after the Reunification) where I feel very enthusiastic and excited about going to the polls. And I feel this excitement everywhere I go: in the coffee shop this morning, in the faces of people standing in line. There's a deep-rooted sense that America has lost its ways and we can take this country back today and start on a new course. With a new crew. A new captain. And a public that stands behind this exciting endeavor.

Yes, I'm a US citizen now. We don't vote on Sundays, we vote on a Tuesday. But it's still this amazing feeling that we, the people have it in our hands to change. To improve. To be better. It's going to be a good day.

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