. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Get Out the Vote"

I read this extremely touching post in a friend's Journal today.  She writes about volunteering with Obama's campaign and her first time canvassing the neighborhood and talking to people about voting.  She had a list in hand and a serious duty to perform.  I admire her for it since I know I could never get out and do some "door knocking" to talk politics with voters, even if they were Obama supporters.  

She included a story that made me think about how ground-breaking this vote will be.  In the primaries, we had our first African-American and our first woman running for president.  For me and my generation, this is nothing really to think over.  It seems natural for us who have grown up in a world mixed all up and with opportunities offered for everyone regardless of sex or color.

But for our older generations, this is still a problem in some cases.  Some people refuse to vote for a person of color or for the "lesser sex".  In the journal article, my friend writes that she encountered a man who told her, “I’ll be voting for McCain,” he said, “and my wife won’t be voting.”  Can you imagine that?  It breaks my heart.  She follows the story with another one of a woman from the older generation who gives hope to the campaign:

Hillary Clinton was her first choice so she did not mind telling you that she had her doubts about the new fellow. Funny name Barack Obama …who names a child something like that? She was disappointed when he won. Like many women of a certain age, she was thrilled by the notion of seeing a female elected president in her lifetime. Hillary’s defeat hurt her heart, but Libba was not one to hold a grudge and then her children thought the world of the fellow and that meant something. She decided she would hear him out.

When the Democratic Convention aired on television she sat up in her bed and watched night after night. What she saw moved her in ways she had not anticipated. It was quite a sight … 100,000 Americans of every age race and creed gathered together for that great crazy spectacle of American democracy. Libba had seen her share of history in the making but this felt personal. This was the America she had always believed in and had worked so hard to bring about.

Michelle Obama was as smart as she was lovely and the little girls adorable and perfectly mannered. This spoke well for Obama, must be a feminist to have a family like that. The speeches were all great and the moment that Hillary handed over her delegates was so thrilling that Libba forgot to be sad about it. Joe Biden is everything she loves about a Democrat, scrappy and earnest and a little bit unpredictable, not a lock-stepper … “good choice” she thought. Then, the new fellow Obama appeared at last before a hushed audience under the dark Denver sky. . She studied the crowd which was pin-drop quiet as he spoke of the challenges we face. She felt for the broad shouldered black men, whose eyes were wet with pride and smiled at the little old white ladies, their hands folded as if in prayer. She worried for the young people with the tattoos and the piercings, so hard looking until you peered into their wide innocent eyes.

Mr. Obama’s words fell around them as thoughtful as they were heated as grounded as they were inspiring … he seemed honest, a rare thing in a politician, but there was something more … something she could not put her finger on. Then it hit her and she filled with feeling. “He is the future plain and simple” she thought and Libba understood that she would soon be the past. She would not live to see the first African American sworn into office, but he would win and by God she would have her say in the matter.

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