Tuesday, November 04, 2008


This space can't be left blank today. I don't know what to say after this, because she said it right, and I'm only posting because I'm out of breath.

Following this election closely has focused me (in an even more persistent monomania than usual!), helped me distract myself from nagging fears and terrible heartbreak.

I'm not trying to be a downer. I'm simply addressing the fact that I wish I had been financially independent and emotionally sound enough to go help out in a place that could use help. Helping out in Ohio or Pennsylvania would've been great. I can't imagine going door to door around here. This ain't a swing-state. We're 15 points behind and voting for the 14th century, because Barack "isn't gonna share his wealth".

That's what I heard my grandmother say. I say nothing, because my family goes Republican way back, far back enough that when the Roosevelt dime was minted, my Granny's Uncle would only take two nickels, or, grocer boy, you'd damned get it.

I used to argue more loosely with Granny and Mom about these sorts of things, but not now, when I believe they've been abused by terrible leadership and a disdain for the Constitution. The stopping-distance, I think, is long enough that it might not hit them very directly in their lifetimes, so their preferred narrative of America can persist. With Rush Limbaugh for Granny and Fox News for my Mom (and Granny), it can definitely persist.

I overheard them talking about a woman at my Mom's workplace, who said that Obama's birth-certificate has been kept from the public, and I got upset. Couldn't contain myself. I thought, surely, surely, you're not buying into that hate-speech? My Mom finished by saying that she had told the lady at work that that was ridiculous, that Obama was a citizen, let's not get crazy. She said this wearing a Sarah Palin button.

In that moment she showed what was obvious to me to begin with, that she has ten times more sense and compassion than the farce on her button. She said she admired Obama, believed he was a very bright man, but disagreed with his policies, and that was it. The negative campaigning isn't working on anyone but rabid nutjobs.

It occurred to me that if McCain had picked a center-right running mate, run a campaign based on low taxes and small government, he'd be doing a lot better, and it would be perfectly honorable (though wrong and impractical in our time of debt and crisis).

In explaining her stance, my Mother showed a calm decency that, however wrongheaded politically I still think she is, gives me hope that an Obama win may be more magnanimous than we can imagine. I hope so. I'm baffled. My Mom and Granny root for their home-team, and were sad for Fulmer today. They have the same attitude towards the G.O.P. They don't like 'em to lose, but they can handle it.

Am I baffled by the Palin button? Disgusted by it, but at Palin, not my Mom. Beyond that, I'm just ready for a real President, and thankful it'll be handled with grace in this household if I get my wish. Other households in TN may not be so lucky.

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