So many inspiring, amazing things about Obama's all but inevitable victory tonight (as I write FL, NC, and VA are too close to call but CO, NV, CA, WA and OR are about to be called for Obama putting him over the top), not least of which is the sheer excitement of seeing the election of an African American president, something I never would certainly not happen in my lifetime--in many ways a realization of our greatest ideals, ideals which are all too often clung to as abstractions but rarely realized.
Plenty of time later to kick around the lessons of this election, to debate whether or not it represents an embrace of the left or a repudiation of the right (a little of the former, a lot of the latter), and, if Obama hangs on to win VA and NC whether or not the election represents a reordering of our regional politics...but one thing that the election certainly represents is a generational shift. Never again will a baby boomer lead this nation, never again with the cultural and ideological sides that were drawn in response to the 1960s define our public discourse. Among the highest aspirations I have for an Obama presidency is for a post-ideological, post-culture war administration that rules, yes, from the center-left, but from a pragmatic center-left position. There are so many national problems to solve that solutions which produce the greatest good for the greatest number, not ideological purity, must guide the decision making of Obama's generation. My generation.