November 04, 2008

All About the O

This is going to be a very, very long day. I’m just back from vacation, so not exactly rested—especially since vacation was 3 days in wine country. I’ll get to that post tomorrow, as well as some choice Halloween photos later in the week.

Today, though: VOTE. There is no question mark because I’m not going to ask. If you have voted, you are a rock star. If you have not, your opinion has been revoked for the next four years. And, because this is my blog, I have a small tale of GObamagasm.

On account of my Aunt Mary putting in some serious time at the Bay County Democratic Headquarters, we were allowed to be part of a national conference call with Barack Obama. He was literally walking off a plane on his way to another meeting, so the call was understandably short. He sounded so tired, you guys; I wanted to send him a virtual nap. I don’t know how any of these candidates stays on their feet all day, much less able to hold conversations on three hours’ sleep per night. He gave us some numbers, said he was incredibly proud and that he doesn’t intend on stopping now.

Man, do I ever want him to be my president.

In light of the past two elections, supporting the losing candidate in this one is less of a 'shucks-darn' and more of a 'contemplating seppuku.' I was all for Hillary, and when the nomination went to Obama I picked up the standard and ran with it; I was going to vote with my bleeding liberal heart regardless who got the nomination, because I am a human and I live in this country. I liked Obama, and mostly loved how intelligent he was (the fact that he won my support by being able to pronounce the names of the countries we’re currently occupying says a lot about the level of expectation the current administration has being “laboring” under). I grew very attached to him after the debates. I didn’t want to feel passionately about the election, I didn’t want to have a full support. I cared, but I didn’t want to care, because hope invites disappointment. I liked him, I would vote for him, it would be fine if he won. Then Sarah Palin happened.

I can’t really say what happened after that. There was a lot of blinking, I think—not at the painted lady herself, but at the swarm of supporters who mistakenly think that all women support women’s rights. I was offended by the choice, but more offended by the comparison—the presumption that one woman is the same as the next. Trying to explain that—especially when Hillary is the next—is like trying to explain for the tenth time why lead is heavier than air. You can’t believe it isn’t immediately evident, and you only hurt your head spending a great deal of time on it, so all you really accomplish is a migraine and a lack of faith in humanity.

It was in the midst of this head-to-wall banging that I really understood what it meant to be invested. I realized, much like falling in love, that I was already there. There was no gearing up for it or talking myself out of it—I was in a place that was different than before. I, like so many other twenty-somethings of my income bracket, do actually care about the effect the next presidency will have on the people around me. My generation is made of people who value laws with practical applications, and value religion without being legally ordered to do so. We can’t understand how “domestic partnership” isn’t just as condescending and antiquated as “separate but equal.” When we have little money, we give to those who have none. We are the men who supported women’s suffrage, atheists who still give to charity, and the parents who vote pro-choice. We are the million shades of grey that make a world that would be so much easier in black and white. We can’t afford easy. Vote. Vote, vote, vote, in the imperative voice, or lose more than you ever knew you had.

I know that if Barack Obama loses the election my heart will be well and truly broken. I waited a long time to have that feeling again, and I’m willing to skip over the happiness to get right to the hurt. I’m ready to hurt. Let’s go.

1 comment:

Dann Rafferty said...

"We can’t understand how “domestic partnership” isn’t just as condescending and antiquated as 'separate but equal.'"

Best sentence I've ever heard.
Hurrah.