Politics

Wed 11/5/2008

My father is a very private man. I remember a few times when I was a kid, figuring out that it was voting day. It was probably mentioned in school, or I probably saw some political ads on TV. And I remember my sisters and I asking our parents who they voted for at the dinner table. My mom was always very forthcoming, but my father usually answered that it was his own decision, and not ours to know. We always thought that was kind of silly, because he probably voted the same as Mom (because they're like MARRIED, right?) but as I get a bit older, I think I see more of where he was coming from...

I'm really excited that Barack Obama was elected to be president last night, but I almost didn't want to write about it on here, for fear that I might alienate some of the people that read this blog. Politics, for me, is a topic I'd rather not discuss with most people (similarly: Religion). I know for a fact that I have friends and loved ones with beliefs much different than mine, and usually talking about those things only creates tension. I'd hate for someone to get bummed out, reading this blog...

BUT, this blog is (ostensibly) about my life. And I feel like I had a really important life moment last night. I was sitting there, watching Barack Obama's acceptance speech on the internet, and the thought went through my mind, "Man... Barack Obama is so COOL!"

And then my mind starting trying to think forward, like, "This man is going to be the President of our country. And he's COOL. I'm really interested in his plans for the country.... Which means... maybe I'll actually be more interested in what's going ON in the country?"

I mean, if you look at the presidents from my lifetime, I was totally oblivious until Clinton. And even then, I was too young (or, well, too self-centered) to care about what he was doing, and what was going on. And then by the time I was a bit older, and cared more, we had Bush Jr. who just seemed so transparently evil to me. Every time I would hear him speak, or read about something he did, I would CRINGE. And it literally made me not want to read the news. Things are going wrong (as they always have, and always will) and when you hate your leader, it's just such a negative mindset. I have felt so disconnected from this country for the last 8 years, which for me, has been the ages of 21 - 29, which I consider to be my whole adult life so far.

There are still things going wrong (as they always have, and always will) but it's just so nice to have someone positive leading us, instead of someone negative. It's the difference between saying, "Things are bad, you should be afraid!" which just makes me want to crawl under a rock and hide, and "Things are bad, but we can overcome these problems!" which makes me want to participate and work hard.

ANYWAY, I think we can all agree that some change was needed. And we've got that now. So we'll see what challenges the future brings, and goddammit, we'll meet them and work through them together!

ALSO, I just wanted to congratulate my friend Isaac on all of his hard work in Ohio. Isaac is probably my best friend from High School, and during the home stretch of the campaign he was out on the front lines in Ohio, trying to get out the vote for Obama. Isaac has been working in politics for a while now, and he has worked with some pretty "high-up" people. But it is totally flippin crazy to see my best friend from high school hanging out with THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (!!!?!) That's HIM in that photo up there. He's the one who's NOT Barack Obama!

It's stuff like this that makes me want to go to my 10-year high school reunion (which is, uh, coming up...) Isaac'll be all like "Yeah, I work for the President of the United States" and I'll be going "Um... I live in Vermont? and draw little pictures in boxes all day?" :)

8 comments on this entry

What a marvelous post! I'm glad you decided to write it after all.

wvh Nov05

That is cool that your friend has that job. I'd pick your job over his though!

I appreciate how you write about your political beliefs. You write in a way that doesn't imply that those who disagree with you are either evil or stupid -- which happens a lot with both conservative and liberal writers.

Well done America!
I'll be interested to see if he's going to have the wisdom to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

Andy - I hate the way people try to villanize others who don't share the same beliefs. Isn't a bunch of people with different beliefs, trying to get along, the whole POINT of America?

The President of the United States is one of those jobs where no matter WHAT you do, you are going to make some people angry. There are too many different types of people for decisions to be well met by all. I don't envy ANYONE who has to make those decisions.

Alec Nov06

That was a great post Alec. I'm very happy to see that Obama won, and I think this political/cultural change alone will bring many positive aspects to the world. I totally agree with you about having respect for other people, even when there is disagreement. It seems to be such a distinctive part of modern culture to engage (especially with the internet) in trash talk and vilification. Hopefully within the coming years we will see less and less of this type of behavior and more of a tendency towards tolerance and empathy on all sides of the spectrum. I'm glad you posted too.

Cam Nov06

When this picture appeared on my browser, I almost fell out of my chair.
I like to think Obama is laughing because Isaac just said something really funny.

ak47 Nov06

Isaac described the image this way:

Thought you would appreciate this pic from the men's locker room of the Kent State-Tuscarawas campus this week....I just told him his mic was live and he leaned into it and shouted that he beat Reggie Love in a game of horse that morning....good times.

:)

Alec Nov06

There have been much worse "Surprise -- your mic is live" moments in politics!

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