Mom and I sent in our ballots Friday for this historic election, historic nationally, and historic right here at home.
I admit that no election including this one was from my heart like the Jackson campaign. Jesse Jackson stood for everything I believed in. He represented our generation's mission. Since then I have become increasingly aware that the two party system is tweedle dum and dummer. Change will not come that way. The Obama campaign is really no different than the others, in my heart, except I was inspired enough to vote, to do the bumper sticker and lawn sign, to contribute because he is the first African American candidate to capture the nomination, first intelligent, dignified nominee for the party and that felt good. He is not an embarrassment. I am thrilled that the Obamas will be our First Family, that Michelle Obama will represent women with intelligence, strength and pride. I even tuned in each day to the DNC and enjoyed the speeches, especially Obama's. I was disappointed that he chose Biden, the Democrat's Democrat for his running mate, and horrified as the excited crowd of delegates was so carried away that the even cheered Biden's warlike stance toward Russia. I was moved by Stevie Wonder and the drums for justice. And somehow as the delegate votes during the roll call went to Barak Obama, African American raised in Africa the campaign finally settled in my heart too.
Do I feel theirs will be a voice for what I'm most passionate about? Not on some things, but if our issues can get through the doors, I think they will be listened to without the usual shut minds.
My interest in the Presidential race intensified as Jim Crowe raised its ugly head in the McCain Palin campaign. The turning point, however, came when the senator sneered, "That One." We sucked in air, and "oh, s###"; the Fight definitely woke up the heart. "That One" was the echo of every "fighting word" any of us had to endure from racist Amerika, this time, coming from the Republican Presidential Candidate, spoken like any coward, with his back turned to the Democratic Presidential Candiate of the United States, as if the audience -- the whole world -- were part of his clique. Damned by his own attitude of "white privilege," so cocky sure that his racism was a realistic campaign strategy, McCain will try to win an election with it. From that day I was reading everything I could get my hands, tuning in to anything that might be about the campaign, hanging on to every speech by Obama, every comedy act about Palin, reading all the blogs and you tubes. Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNwlJA_OAHo
"That One." I was psyched to vote!! Like that carnival game, Whack-a-Mole, I couldn't wait for my turn with the mallet! "Give me that ballot and whack that mole down!" When the ballots arrived I did not toss them on the table for later. I determined to vote the very next good day for mom.
I mentioned this election is historic in our home. It is. The entire Nisei generation (uncles, aunts and mom) have voted Republican for as long as I remember. The last election when I suggested that Bush's first term indicated that farmers were not helped, Uncle George's pronouncement was "we shouldn't vote for what is good for us; we should vote for what is good for the country."
The last election when mom and I sat down to fill out the ballots, mom's vote cancelled mine out. "Bush is a Republican and Kerry is a Democrat."
"Republican!" she announced.
This year, we sat down and I said "McCain is a Republican and Obama is a Democrat" and paused looking intently at her.
She stared back, lifting her palms upward and shrugging her shoulder, a wry look on her face.
"Well, Obama voted against the war and McClain supports the war." Mom is a hawk. But she just stared back.
"Obama and McClain both say they will cut taxes, but Obama will not cut the taxes of the richest people."
She's thinking about it. "Whatever."
Time to tell her what has never ever swayed her or Uncle George in the past. They've voted for one Republican after another on all levels of government who shared this trait without batting an eye.
"McCain," I pointed at his picture, "THAT one says I hate all gooks and I always will."
Mom's eyes narrowed. "Hmmmmmmphf. Well, you know what I think about THAT!"
Actually I didn't. I had left my finger under McCain's photo. Mom pointed to Barak Obama, tapping with her forefinger for emphasis --- and history in my family was made.
Senator McCain, you lost another diehard Republican. At 88 years old, my mom stood up on her two feet and voted what's good for her and decidedly, it is also good for the country!!
BTW, like a good Republican, Mom cancelled me out on several measures and other candidates.
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