Saturday, September 06, 2008

Who are you in for?

Sent: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 9:33 am
Subject: campaign

hi trish
now who do i vote for?

Hi there,
Glad you asked! I've been thinking about writing to everyone again, now that so much has happened. . . .

First let me say that when I sit around my house, knitting, cheering for the Red Sox (closing in on the Rays for 1st place in the AL East), and telling anyone who asks to vote Democrat (no matter who's running!), I think of my grandma, your mom, and I wish I could hear what she'd say about all this. But we know what she'd say, don't we? She would respect John McCain for his military service, and know where Sarah Palin was coming from as far as having lots of kids, but I think Grandma would have loved to vote for Hillary.

The time we've spent reading, thinking and talking about and supporting Hillary, and her subsequent close-second finish to Barack Obama, was time well-spent. The dizzying roller-coaster ride of following your candidate from long-shot to shoe-in to 'slipping in the polls' to the concession speech came to a bittersweet end when she spoke at the DNC last week. She spoke about all the reasons she ran for President, and all the problems she wanted to solve, and all the people she'd met along the way who personified these concepts. I could see the images of her inauguration, her State of the Union addresses, her press conferences, her thoughtful and far-reaching legislation enacted, the world once again looking to America for their example of the best way to run a country, all slowly dissolving in my mind.

Then she said something that cut right to the heart of the matter: "I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?"

As I said, I always vote for the Democrat, no matter what. From dog-catcher to President, they don't have to win me over, that's just the way I roll, as the kids say. (Or maybe they don't really say that. You know what I mean.) So when Hillary conceded in June, I knew that in November I would be voting for Barack Obama; it felt a little awkward, like resigning from one fan club and joining another.

But what she said reminded me that I vote for the Democrat because of the ideals that the party stands for, and it's not about a cult of personality or who I'd want to have a beer with, it's about who is best able to lead our country out of the economic, military and philosophical morass that we are in now.

And it ain't McCain/Palin.

Despite his "maverick" ways and his independent streak, McCain has been entrenched in Republican Washington circles for far too long to make any real difference in the future, from the last eight years. And, at 72 years old with a history of skin cancer, his seemingly spontaneous choice of an inexperienced running mate with extreme right-wing political views, archaic positions on women's rights and issues and mediocre intellect is ill-advised at best. If she were a man, she never would have been considered: he chose her for her gender, to see if the female electorate would blindly pull the lever for the candidates with the most (or any) uteruses, and for her Christianity, to pander to the far-right Christian coalition. Read Judith Warner's latest column at to know exactly what I think about Sarah Palin. To the word.

As Democrats, as caring, thinking, forward-looking people who are invested in the future of our country and the world, we need to unite and support our candidate. Hillary rebuked the idea that bitterness among her delegates and supporters would lead them to vote for McCain, because she knows that it's about more than man or woman or black or white, it's about our country - freedom and equality, health and progress, security and the future.

Now I'm going to sign off before I'm accused of being a zealot. I'm really not, I'm just opinionated. Like my Grandma.



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