Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Reflections [with Update]

I could be working, but I don't think that I can keep this bottled up inside me.

At the end of the TV series The West Wing, the country elected Matt Santos, a Latino. I remember thinking that that's all well and good in Aaron Sorkin's world, where hard work, competence, and compassion triumph over bigotry. But in the real world, we are a long way from a serious candidate of color, never mind an actual president.

I'm happy to have been wrong.

The series ended before Santos took office. We don't know how he fared, but we were left with a feeling of cautious optimism. Yes, the world is a nasty place. Yes, Santos is going to face opposition, even bigotry. But he's the best man for the job, and the country is in good hands.

That's pretty much the way I feel this morning.

On the dark side, bigotry won out in California, where they passed Proposition 8 to take away the right of gay people to marry. I suppose I should be grateful that they are defending my traditional marriage. Heaven knows that Mrs. Jogger and I would never have been married for 21 years if gay marriage had been legal in California. Our marriage has been a little rocky for these last few months, what with all those happy gay people making commitments to each other. But now that that's over with, our marriage is back on solid ground.

I know this is backlash. I believe strongly that human history is progressive, and that we will inevitably move towards a state of greater tolerance and greater equality. Someday, hopefully within my lifetime, historians will look back at the "Defense of Marriage" movement the same way we look back at Jim Crow. I just hope that we get there soon. Because it's the right thing to do.

Update: A couple of nice posts about the Prop 8 outcome by Jeff Fecke and Digby.


Joe said...

I agree completely. Before Proposition 8 I couldn't even walk down the street without fear of seeing a gay couple. Now thanks to Proposition 8, my marriage is great, the economy is fixed and the world is perfect. I have gay friends and this is a terrible, terrible law.


Addy N. said...

The whole "defense of marriage" approach is so stupid- isn't divorce more of a threat to marriage than gay couples? I guess I see the whole issue in the same light as interracial marriage (something very personal to me)- which was still illegal in MANY states until 1967. (See this site for interesting history on interracial marriage laws). I know it's only a matter of time until gay couples will enjoy the same rights as the rest of us, but in the mean time it really sucks.