US Election 2012: Thoughts from an American in Melbourne
MONIQUE Edwards, along with fellow Americans here in Australia, waited with bated breath as their home nation voted for who they wanted to lead the United States of America.
At the Railway Hotel in South Melbourne, I along with fellow Americans living abroad waited anxiously as election results poured in from various states across the television screens. Even when it seemed as though Obama was obviously going to be reelected, it still seemed a natural reaction to sit on the edge of our seats as red and blue states popped up on the screens. Alabama to Romney. New York to Obama. Texas to Romney…
Then OHIO! 18 electoral votes went to Obama and instantly he was the declared winner, even though we were still awaiting results from other states like Virginia.
Four years ago, I was living in Virginia, a swing state which had a tendency to vote Republican in past elections. However, for the second time since 2008, Virginia has swung in Obama’s favour. I imagine my mom and dad and all my neighbors living in the city of Winchester in northwestern Virginia, celebrating late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning with cheers of celebration.
Over here in Australia, this day brings many thoughts to mind, mostly a list of hopes and dreams for the future of America.
I hope that many more states will vote in support of gay marriage and stand up for equality for all citizens, no matter who they are, what they look like, what they believe or who they love.
I hope that four more years will show relief for university students facing severe debts with interest-high loans and struggling to find jobs.
I hope that women will find equality in the workplace and also be able to make their own decisions regarding their health and well-being.
I hope more investment will be made in green energy and that we get rid of our unhealthy dependence on oil, coal and fossil fuels.
Obama’s victory today was a step forward in the right direction towards gay rights, gender equality, green energy and a variety of other progressive steps for America.
In his victory speech tonight, Obama stated: “… it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”
Even living tens of thousands of miles away, everyone with me in South Melbourne still felt chills of excitement. We will all be looking forward to four more years of change and progress.