Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thoughts on Election 08'

Thoughts on November 5th, 2008

Something happened on the way to the altar. I was fed up with George W. Bush, in the heart of Bush country I was ready, good and ready to cast my vote for whoever had that D by their name on the ticket. Hillary was actually my girl, I thought it would be a grand up yours to eight years of W, it would burn in the guts of the other side, the enemy.

I doubted, hell flat out denied the possibility of Barack Obama, a man of mixed race and little national prowess to win. I thought that in fact he was about the only Democrat in the primary who could possibly lose after America’s dark ages. Then something started to happen.

I decided to remove head from backside and actually listen, and when that happened I, like apparently so many of us found myself pulling for the man from Illinois. There was talk of hope, “yes we can” was a refrain, and he never approved of the war I had so staunchly been against. He stood calm in the face of so much accusation first in the primary and then in the national campaign.

His message changed my mind and moved my heart. No longer was my position one of being against what had been but for what could be and the change was startling and immensely gratifying. If I met him I would tell him thank you for that simple change, a real change on an individual level, my own personal bubble of political angst and ire turned to one of hope and possibility.

His opponent seemingly against his own wishes dusted off some old scare words that seemed to ignite the worst of our politic a strategy that had been devastatingly effective in each of George W Bush’s campaigns. Who could blame him, it is how the game is played or should I say was played.

Terrorist, Socialist, Communist, Marxist, telling Americans what to fear but the actual things of substance (jobs, health care, a crumbling economy, a severely damaged position in the world, a misguided war) trumped that old go to and left the McCain - Palin ticket scurrying for something that would stick, that would garner momentum. They never found it.

What an amazing night, the first president my daughter will know is a man of hope, integrity, and a symbol of America's unique ability to heal itself.

McCain was gracious in defeat while the dwindling sign of America's darkness in the crowd booed at the thought of honor and service that their candidate was and is the embodiment of.

The Limbaughs of the world are gearing up, they will have to wait a while as to not show their cards but it will be another golden age of conservative talk radio, audio klan, verbal huntin' fer reds but their crowds are thinning, the only demographic Obama didn't own were 65+ and we know their time is winding down.

But so too will be the far lefters, with a HA HA in your face! What they will miss is that America has left that station, if at least for now. It choogled on out of there with a resounding proclamation of a politic centered on we the people.

I pray for Barack Obama's ability to carry the weight of what he represents, what he campaigned for at 20 to 200 dollars a shot.

I carry an overwhelming sense of possibility not for myself but for my baby little Ireland Grace O’Dell, hope for the things that have guided me. Kindness before fear, hope before doubt, a sense of community.

They taught me this song in Elementary School, a Socialist manifesto? No an American declaration found in that open possibility that is my Country. An ideal once again ignited in my soul.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me.
I roamed and I rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
While all around me a voice was sounding
Saying this land was made for you and me.
When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting, As the fog was lifting,
This land was made for you and me.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Darren. I was originally on the Hillary bus, too, but I embraced Obama unashamedly. There is hope.