Although we do not want to turn Experience Points into a political soapbox, not commenting on the election would be even more off-putting than saying a few words. So here it goes:
The word "change" has been thrown around countless times this election cycle, and it is difficult to predict what changes President Obama will enact. Change often comes incrementally, and we should not mistake Obama as the messiah, or even the anti-politician. There are many points on which we differ with Obama, but even so, the simple act of electing him represents a pivotal change of both historical and contemporary scope.
What we do know is this: it is odd writing the words "President Obama," because it makes us proud to do so. Until today, invoking the name of the President of the United States conjured up feelings of outrage and shame. As far as the United States' national identity is concerned, electing Obama is the equivalent of hitting the reset button.
With Obama, our country gets to start over and repair its tarnished national image. No longer do we have a leader who rules by surrounding himself with sycophants and corrupt oligarchs. No longer do we have a leader who denounces science and rationality in favor of blind faith. No longer do we have a leader who sees a monochromatic world of "good and evil" in which he is God's holy warrior.
It appears that we now have a leader who possesses both an understanding of the world's complexity and empathizes with its inhabitants. Electing Obama allows the United States to atone for some of its mistakes. We feel as though we are finally joining the twenty-first century, and we ask the world to be patient as we make up for lost time. As trite as it sounds, for the first time in years, we are hopeful.
It is a wonderful feeling.