I know I’m probably preaching to the choir but if you find that while you and I think very much alike you are still out of love with American politics, I urge you, beg you, to reconsider. WE THE PEOPLE have sat by too long and done nothing. It is time to remember that WE ARE the PEOPLE. And take back our god given right to vote and speak out for what we believe in. People died so you could vote. Do not let the fundamentalists be the only ones galvanized this time. This is a serious rant and frankly I’m mostly writing it for myself. I just gotta get it outta my system.
I think the one thing I’ve noticed the most about this year’s election that is different from every election I’ve witnessed is that there are people who never vote biting at the bit to do so. For the first time in years people who have felt too disenfranchised to bother to vote know that this time their vote will make every difference in the world. And their children are beginning to see the light too and they are going to vote. Gang bangers on the corners might even see through their drug induced haze that perhaps this one time even THEIR vote will count and they will go to the polls and maybe even take their grannie to the polls with them. The people, the non-white people, have hope for the first time maybe ever and they are going to be out of their homes to vote this year. So you, you disheartened white folks, you do the same! Do not waste this opportunity. Barack Obama is not just another politician. Swear to god, I can see people’s hearts and this man is different. He’s risking his life to change this place we call earth and don’t you for one moment think otherwise or dis it by not doing the right thing and casting your vote. It will change lives for a long time to come if we can just do things different for once. And they know it. Please tell me you do too!
I do not know what it is like to be a poor disenfrancised person of color. I’m just a middle class middle aged white woman who was given many precious gifts and who squandered many of them. Who didn’t appreciate the opportunities that my struggling working parents tried to make possible for me, to better myself and my world. Yes, I blew many years of this lifetime getting wasted. Just no way to get around that truth. But…
I have lived in poverty. I have gone hungry. I have sat there in my little cold water flat with no heat because I couldn’t afford a space heater and it was me, the cat, and one can of tuna fish. (the starving cat, Sam the Smartest Siamese in the World, was there when I got the key, he came with the apartment, gratis, his conditions were apalling until I got there) We had to share. I know what it is like to live with nothing. I know how it beats you down until you can’t see or think straight. I was there because I decided it was time not to live in a condemned hotel and shoot drugs into my veins. That cold water flat was the first place I got with my first job in years. It wasn’t much, $88 a month, and it really did only have cold water all year round and the radiator boiler hadn’t worked in decades. But it was an honest place paid for by my underpaid underemployed self. It was a beginning of change for me. Took me 16 more years before I realized I needed to stop drinking too but I had at least climbed further up and out by then. It took everything I had to do it too. I get it. I know what it’s like to work like crazy and have nothing. And it’s why I never let an animal suffer if it’s in my power to change their lives too.
And, while I might be white, I’m a woman, and any woman of any color knows women understand what it is like to be discriminated against. And so do witches and pagans. Oh yes indeed, I get it. Been there done that. Still doing that. Til I die doing that.
I was raised by radical people who did all they could for those in need. My mother was a social worker for Head Start for years. It nearly broke her heart but she did it. Every day. My father had a masters in business and a law degree and his chosen profession was to manage several of the housing projects for the Seattle Housing Authority in the 60’s and 70’s. He did everything he could within his power to better the lives of the people who lived there. Every day. My parents are MY heros. Their struggles against the red tape bureaucracy and those in power who didn’t care about the people my parents were trying to help finally broke them and one day they both quit their jobs. Neither one knew the other was going to do it. But the timer went off at the same time and they come home with that news. My dad’s final straw? The refusal of the city to put in alarm systems in the projects in an attempt to stop the rapes that were rampant at that time. Did he stop because of the woman who came into his office and hit him in the face with a baseball bat because someone had stolen her husband’s underwear off the outdoor clothesline? No. Did he file charges? No. He knew her level of frustration, he knew she was over the edge into a place he hoped he’d never have to live and he continued doing what he could to make her life and the lives of others better.
My dad drove a school bus that next year while he studied for, and passed, the bar. My mom got some kind of work and went back to school to finish her masters. My aunt, my dad’s sister, and her husband were very, VERY involved in civil disobedience and worked all their lives (my uncle still does) for the labor workers of this country. My aunt said on one occassion that she believed in bloody revolution. They were blacklisted from good jobs for years because of their political beliefs. Arrested more than once for things like knocking on the door of the local university president’s mansion, for HOURS, in protest over the investments in South Africa. They let her out and she was there the next day too. Lou rocked! Miss you Lou! That kind of thing. In their 80’s now, both of my parents STILL practice what they preach. They still volunteer. They still work for the little guy, the disenfranchised, the students. I feel more than a bit humbled by them.
So trust me when I tell you that when John McCain belittles Obama for being a neighborhood/city organizer, when he says they don’t bring change, when he says that they don’t have any experience, any tough experience, it just goes to show his level of ignorance. He’s a fool. Those social organizers? They’ve seen it all, fought it all, waded through the tape and the bullshit and jumped the hoops and they know how to get the best people for the job working for them too. Against impossible odds. And it surely ain’t for the money honey. Obama might not have the years of experience that some folks think he needs but he’s smart enough to hire those who do, he’s smart enough to know how to listen to others, to heed advice, he will fill any gaps needing filling. McCain admits he doesn’t even know how to send an email. OMG. And he thinks he’s the president for the 21st century?
So, while I frittered some time away, I was raised by people who did things that mattered and when I was finally ready to grow up, I would like to think I got very busy doing so. The first time I voted was in the 1980 Presidential election. My guy didn’t win. I was crushed. I kept voting but my starry eyed innocence was repressed when the people elected President Reagan. I simply didn’t understand how they could not see him for who and what he was. But I kept voting. Sometimes my guy wins and sometimes my causes win too. I sign all the petitions put in front of me at supermarkets and the like. Do I agree with every petition’s cause? Not at all. But I believe that the people at large should decide and I want to give us the chance to do so. I do what I can. Today, what I can do is write.
And this time? Things are different. I believe. I BELIEVE! and I plan to BEWEAVE. I am doing all I can to put as much energy as possible that bears the name OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA MAGIC MAGIC MAGIC VISUALIZE VISUALIZE VISUALIZE out into the source that connects us all.
Do you remember the 60’s? When people were killed simply because they tried to exercise their right to vote?
Do you remember the last two elections where Jeb Bush’s Florida goons stopped people from voting? They even went so far as to destroy some votes it’s been said. Closed federal polling places? Stopped people from entering polling places? This time the people must vote. This time the people WANT to vote. In 2004 58% of the people voted, it was record year. A record year! And only 58% voted. I bet that another 20% are going to vote this time and they won’t be voting for that sad and weary, angry and lying, white guy. We could change things folks.
And I’m galvanized. Obama’s local folks called me the other day because I signed up to volunteer for them. But they didn’t call me back. I’m waiting. Come on folks, come and get me. What would I love to do for them? Go out to the marginalized areas and sign up folks to vote. Please oh please. Pick me! Pick me!
Dear Goddess, Holy Universal Source of all, I know that you helped us bring George Bush into existence as our President because we knew we needed to wake up the world. Folks knew that the sleepers needed to awake and he was the man to wake us up. It seems that only our fear of fascism could do it. Do not think for one moment that George Bush and his cronies are anything less than Fascisti.
In response we manifested Barack Obama as the first person to give the US hope since John F Kennedy. Do not assume that this year your vote won’t matter. Do not lose hope. You didn’t like something Barack Obama did? I feel your irritation. But surely it wasn’t a slew of things, you don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the things that are an abomination that McCain and his Palin (Did you notice that if you remove the L in Palin you get McCain Pain? Leon pointed that out to me the other day.) will make reality. Fundamentalism? Oh my Precious Goddess.
Let go of that one thing and vote for the guy for the sake of the world. Narcissus voted for Nader in the last election. He saw the error of his ways afterwards and realized that a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush. Don’t not vote for Obama because you liked Hillary better. Don’t not vote for anyone at all because you’re tired of the crap. A vote for anyone other than Obama is a vote for McCain. Not voting is a vote for McCain. Do you want change? Do you want a better world? Then do something about it. Do not complain one more moment. Get off your butt and do something to pull this amazing opportunity along.