November 11, 2008
Where Do We Stand?
I am always desperate to avoid presidential politics. I really hate it. It is often endless, and evokes far too intense passions for my taste. Sometimes it is vile. I wrap myself in a blanket of apathy and despair and snuggle down, hoping for the best. I do my best fighting on the issues and hope occasionally that something will trickle up and make a difference.
This last election was interesting, although I was quite sick of it by the end. It was a fascinating examination of our times. I won't rehash what everyone is saying about women presidents, women vice presidents, black presidents and so forth because it's all been done thoroughly and better than I could anyway.
I don't know that I learned anything more about America that I didn't know before, but I did learn things about the people around me that I would never have guessed. I discovered a long-time friend who I thought was politically aligned with me was voting quite different than I was. I discovered a man who I thought was intelligent and well-informed wasn't voting at all, and for what I thought was a very silly reason. I discovered a racist I know who makes liberal use of the "n-word" was voting for America's first black president.
Frankly, I still don't understand any of those things.
None of that matters, of course. (And as my husband frequently says to me, "You don't have to understand everything...")
What I have found moving is the reaction afterward -- watching the speeches of a gracious McCain and a humble Obama and to watch the Americans who have not lost their optimisim, those who want to work together to rebuild a country that feels like it has been down for a long, long time.
I am buoyed by the project "From 52 to 48 with love". When I am sitting at my desk concerned for our future that is where I will go.
I start my first term in local government in January. I live in a small town where it's possible to get the feeling that you CAN make a difference. I hope my trickle up theory of government works. I'll let you know in a few months.
[photo credit: jbelluch]