Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I don't remember where it was, but a couple of days ago I read a blog entry written by someone who'd been working at an early-voting location. The blogger described a family who had come in to vote together, 4 generations of them. The youngest was 18 and voting for the first time, and the oldest was 92 years old.

They all voted, but when the 92 year-old came out of the voting booth, she collapsed into a chair. The blogger went over to help, thinking the elderly woman was having some sort of health emergency, but she waved the help off. She was not ill - she was weeping. She wept because, as she said, she'd never believed until that moment that she would ever in her lifetime be able to vote for an African-American for President. Only after she left the voting booth did the monumental reality of her vote truly register, and she was overcome with the emotion of it.

Tonight at the dinner table I was telling this story to my wife. I had to stop in the middle, because I started to cry as I told it. Indeed the tears are welling up again as I write this. I am a pretty cynical person - perhaps it's true that a cynic is really a perpetually disappointed optimist - but the idea that we, the people of this nation I so often despair of, might for once look forward instead of back and toward each other instead of only toward themselves, is breathtaking.

I don't think Barack Obama is the Messiah or even the best thing since sliced bread. He may become a great President, or turn out to be a lousy one. But I believe that the very fact of his election, should he win next Tuesday( and he's GOT to, dammit!), will mark the beginning of a new, different, hopeful, energized America. Please let us all make sure that happens. Don't forget to vote, and make sure everyone you know votes, too.

* * * * *

As I was finishing this item up, I got a phone call from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, asking for some (more) money. I'm kinda tight right now (as aren't we all) but I swallowed, and gave - because it's THAT important that we move our government away from the place it's in now, as far and as fast as possible. If you've got a few dollars to spare, give it to Barack, to the DCCC, to the DSCC, or one of the many fine progressive Democrats running for office this year. They surely can use it.

See you at the election night celebration!

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