Optimism Is Easier at the Federal Level

Election Day. I took Iz out of school early so she could come vote with me, because she wanted to be the one to push the voting buttons for Obama and against Prop 8.

She had a therapist appointment two towns away at 5 PST, and soccer practice from 6:30 to 7:30, so we spent a lot of time listening to the returns coming in on the radio, and trying to analyze what each state's results meant.

Seymour brought her home from practice, had a bite, and then he set Leelo up with a laptop DVD of Monsters, Inc. so the rest of us could watch the speeches in partial peace (Mali was with us, after all).

I was impressed by John McCain's speech, and thought that if that man had run the McCain campaign, they might have had a chance. Iz wanted to know why everyone kept booing every time Obama's name was mentioned or alluded to, and I told her that their behavior defined the difference between the two campaigns. McCain had unfortunately been a role model for petulance, and his followers weren't ready to give up their behavior patterns just yet. Mali kept jumping up and down on the couch, yelling "McCainMcCainMcCainMcCain!"

Obama's speech was delightful. He, and the crowd in Grant Park, made me feel that our country has changed for the better--almost tectonically. But I didn't cry until I saw Jesse Jackson crying; that floored me. Iz couldn't believe how cute Malia and Sasha Obama were, and that they were going to get a puppy just because they were moving into the White House. I screamed "YEAH!" when Obama asserted that ours is a country in which everyone is included, no matter our race, religion, sexual orientation, or *disability*. Mali kept jumping up and down on the couch, yelling "ObamaObamaObamaObama!"

We were all happy Americans on Election night.

And then, in the morning, we found out that Prop 8 had passed. I was dumbfounded, mostly because we live in San Mateo County where it was voted down by a very wide margin. And I can't believe that anyone would ever vote to take away rights, to legalize discrimination.

But I understand why it did pass. As I told Iz, people don't like change. And a lot of Christian people don't question what their churches tell them. That doesn't make them evil, it makes them ignorant. It means that they have confused the message of their church with the message of the man whose ideals they are supposed to hold supreme, Jesus -- a person who would never, ever have supported Prop 8. (Even Ann Landers would have agreed.)

But I remain hopeful, like so many others. As I told Iz, I have faith that when it comes to basic and to civil rights, our country will always do the right thing. Eventually. And by the time (and if) she's ready to wed, she and her peers will be able to marry whichever prince or princess has stolen their heart.

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  1. Lovely post. Thanks for this.

    Please tell Iz that time is on her/our side-- young people voted "no" in much higher proportion than the rest of the population. And with her and her generation coming up in a few years, things will be looking much brighter.

  2. Anonymous7:11 PM

    I know what you mean. I was elated with the hope that this election (I believe) has brought the country. I was saddened hearing about Proposition 8. In my own state, I was disheartened to hear that we allowed gamblers to increase their betting maximums, but couldn't see the importance of helping people with special needs.

  3. The elation I've felt about Obama is still here with me, especially because of all the crapola I keep reading about Sarah Palin. Who terrified me. Newsweek had some horrific tidbits: http://www.newsweek.com/id/167581
    And so did The New York Times:


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