I'm a political animal. For the past five years I've spent not less than 10 hours a week keeping up with poltics, and writing about it. It's a quiet sort of activism.
For the past 25 years I've been passionate about it, as an Idea. I've never been passionately for
a politician. Against, sure. The present occupant of the Oval Office has no love in my heart. The best I can summon is an appreciation of a common humanity; but sympathy there is none, disdain and loathing are present in full measure.
I recall, a night much like tonight. My first presidential election of eligibility. Dukakis was losing to Bush pere. I was with hal_obrien
at my girlfriend's father's place. Mike was astounded that he and I were so sanguine about the loss. If it had been his guy, and he was losing this badly, (at our age) he'd have been crushed.
We weren't. The man wasn't as interesting as the process. The art of the possible would go on (we had yet to learn how feckless the Dems could be, nor worse how ruthless and absent in morals and ethics the Republicans would be).
Not so this year. I woke up, and Barry and I went to vote. The polls were busier than I've ever seen them. At 0830 we had to wait five minutes. The other precinct (it's a shared location) was more like fifteen.
Neither Barry, nor I, were voting for our first choice. We were Edwards fans, and his falling by the wayside was a disappointment. Obama won first me, and then him over (though his disdain for the Clintons made him pretty much an Obama voter before me; I was the faster fan).
This guy has it. Executive experience... he's got a ground game which is incredible. He's managing millions of people to his cause; through the use of delegated authority, and a hands on touch which is incredible (there was a door-knocker who got punched, when she got home there was a message on her machine, not from the Campaign, from the man. That's impressive).
And he speaks, no at me, not past me, but to me. He trusts the voter will understand nuance. Attacked with crap, he managed to shrug it off, and move on; sticking to ideas and issues.
The polling, right now, says he's winning. God I hope so. I have not been so wrapped up in the idea of someone winning in my life. No matter what happens it will be hard to sleep tonight. There is joy, and despair, waiting in the wings.
At Starbucks, after we voted, there was an old woman in line. Stooped, slow-moving, and in need of help from her daughter/nurse; and she shined. Every shaking move was filled with pride. The woman was black, and 90 years old, and the way she looked, she embodied hope, and infused all who were there with it.
That's what I voted for.