Okay, here’s my big push the night before Super Duper Tuesday. I am departing from the usual parenting blah-dee-dah to give a plug for my candidate. But I’m actually not departing too far from the parenting thing, because after all, this is about my kids and their future as much as anything.
We’ve always been really big on elections around here. When the kids were little we took them with us to vote on election days. They got to wear the little “I Voted!” sticker, and we’d host election night parties, even for the local elections that no one else cared about. At some point our kids became aware of the fact that their parents like to yell at certain politicians on the TV set, like to watch candidates debating, like to discuss politics in the most vociferous terms around the dinner table. This parental behavior has been escalating in the last eight years, when political tracts and Frank Rich editorials began to line the walls of the bathroom, and when I bought Rolling Stone magazine it wasn’t for the article on the Red Hot Chili Peppers but the excellent investigative report by Robert Kennedy Jr. on the stolen 2004 election. We like our elections. We don’t always like the people running for office, but we get very excited about elections.
This is the first time since forever that I have been so energized and excited about a candidate. Ever since Barack Obama spoke at the 2004 Democratic convention, I’ve been fired up. At our (very, very depressing) 2004 election night party, I remarked to the assembled (sad, gloomy) guests that I thought this Barack Obama guy should totally run for President. “Obama in 2008!” said I. “Did you hear him? Wasn’t he amazing? If he runs, he’ll win.”
I recall the suggestion was met with general murmurs of the “oh THAT will happen” variety. A few snickers in the “you poor naïve thing” vein. The general sense being – especially from three friends of mine who are African American – that I was dreaming if I ever thought a black man could become a Presidential nominee, much less get elected. Not that they didn’t like him; everyone was very enthusiastic about the young guy running for Senator of Illinois. But it was just that, yeah, right. As if. Friends shook their heads, as if I was a delusional child.
And now. Well, well, well. Here we are. La la la.
I would love to vote for a woman, someday. I just don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I am sad that she is a big triangulator, and that she seems to be desperate and that everything she says and does at this point seems to come out of fear. I am sick of fear, and politicians acting out of fear, and using fear and manipulating the fears of the populace. I don’t trust Hillary anymore, because she continually stretches the truth to suit her purposes.
I am excited about the hope that Obama represents. The idea of an Obama Presidency fills me with butterflies and sunshine, and I think it will send a huge message to the world that we are taking a different path, that we are rejecting the same old same old. It says to the world, Yes, I want to be able to walk into a pub in England and not have to apologize for our horrible President. It says yes, I don’t want to have to pretend that I’m Canadian when I travel abroad, because everyone hates Americans so much. It says, yes, we’ve decided the gene pool can be broadened a bit, and we can pull ourselves out of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton rut. Yes, Obama really does represent change, in addition to being classy, dignified, eloquent and smart. And I do believe he could handily wipe the floor with the scary see-through gorgon McCain, something I don’t believe Hillary can do. The Republicans would love a Clinton/McCain run, because they know they can whip Hillary, because Hillary is generally reviled. The hatred for Hillary may be irrational and unfair, but it is there, and the Republican machine is ready to exploit it. And I think Obama kind of scares them. Despite the general thinking that, “this country is still too racist to vote for a person of color,” I think that’s just more scared thinking. It’s old thinking, and I’m choosing to ignore old thinking. There are more of us than there are of them. And Obama is energizing millions of new voters. The pollsters aren’t necessarily trolling Facebook and My Space, and I believe and hope that they’ll be surprised when we wake up to an Obama landslide on Wednesday morning. In the meantime, I have another election night party to get ready for. And to all my friends who scoffed at the idea of an Obama run, I’ll be serving hat, with a side of crow. Happy Election Night!! And go Obama!