Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Election thoughts -- I was so excited...

Last election, the 2008 race, I was so excited.

I'm going to let you know up front that I'm not terribly political... I believe in having my voice heard and I write my representatives on various levels on my opinion over many different issues that are important to me. I think that's an important part of being an American in a democracy--that our voices are heard. That's why I vote and that's why I tell my reps what I think is important. But I really hate polarization in politics. It's really not too important to me whether someone is a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or whatever; I just want them to act responsibly, tell the truth (as much as possible!) and listen to constituents. I do have my own leanings, which I'm sure you could guess at, but that's neither here nor there nor what I really want to write about today.

I wanted to write about how excited I felt last election. I remember driving home and listening to debates on the radio between the candidates and I couldn't believe that in my lifetime, a woman and a black man were serious candidates for a ticket. That meant a lot to me. I'm a mom, and my children are bi-racial. I made sure to talk to them about what was going on. When Hillary Clinton was a serious candidate for the Democratic ticket, I was thrilled. When I found out about Obama, I was also thrilled: he was just like my children who are half black, half white. I thought, what a great time for them to be alive and see that America is truly a place where anyone can succeed--no matter their race or gender. I've always wanted to see a woman as a President, too--and I hope I live to see that also.

One thing I've noticed during Obama's presidency is how proud my daughter is of him. She really does feel he is "just like her." Her remarks are often something like "he has skin like me" or "his parents were like mine." Pretty cool for a little girl to identify with the President. One of my daughter's favorite books is Grace for President by Kelly DiPuchhio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. In the book, Grace discovers to her dismay that there has never been a woman US President and she runs for class president. It really captures the kind of excitement an election can bring.

I'm sorry the excitement is gone from this election. I miss it terribly. Last election, it felt like history was being made and this year it feels like "business as usual."

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