I say yes…AND no.
Prior to Obama as POTUS, I did not pride myself as or even feel like an American. Let’s face it- my ancestors were not willing immigrants. But I can not articulate the pride I felt when a Black man was voted as our President in 2008; it is something that even today still stuns me. I never thought that I would be alive to see this. The impact that his face has had on the psyche of Black and Brown children alone is immeasurable. So for this monumental achievement and in this respect, I say that America has changed in a sense…
I will also say that the younger generations have changed especially over the last decade and are the fastest-changing. They are tolerant, diverse and enterprising. Their stamp was evident in 2008 as in this re-election of Obama; not to mention the passage of marriage equality in MD and ME, passage of legalized marijuana in CO and fighting the War on Women w/r/t reproductive freedom, equal pay, as well as healthcare and education access.
But…and it’s a big but…
The level of sheer hatred that has been lodged against this President harkens back to the good ole days. The thoughts that too many male, GOP lawmakers have about women and their bodies (esp. Akin and Mourdock)…the archaic ideas about immigration and people who look different (whew… yay Dream Act in MD!)… the obvious divide of the popular vote… It makes me say no, this country is not changing. There are people who are angry that Obama is leading the country and it frequently is not based on the impact his term has had on their quality of life.
When the pundits say it, they mean the racial composition and shifting demo- and psychographics. But real change moves us forward.
In the end, the people need to keep making their collective voice heard. We must make our representatives accountable for their performance…for the people! The politics (and hatred) cannot overshadow the good of the nation.
In the words of our President:
We rise and fall together as one nation.