Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new era

I just came from a spontaneous march/celebration of 1,000-2,000 elated Obama supporters. At about 11:00-11:30, a small group of triumphant students gathered at the state capital in Madison, Wisconsin, and they didn't stop coming until they crowded the whole block.

I've been in campus activism for a few years, and I never imagined such an energetic outpouring of joy (The videos above don't nearly do it justice). The crowd marched from the state capital to Bascom Hall, the UW administration building. People danced, sang, high-fived and hugged with strangers.

I and a few other comrades asked people what they expected of an Obama administration. Most people had trouble articulating an answer. Most said things like "change" or "a new direction." There's a strong sense that Obama will be different, but it's not clear how.

One thing is clear and that is people's hopes have been raised. People chanted "Yes we can" and "Yes we will" like they meant it. I think we can safely say things will never be the same.