We watched it sprout and grow
But still we were amazed
When what we hoped for
Grew to be actually so.
I have a friend. She is 86 years old. She was so proud the day she voted for Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the February 5.2008 primary in Arizona. For those of you that read from another country, you have to understand that we have a personal ownership in our national heroes. Krista McAuliffe, astronaut that died in the Challenger Shuttle disaster was me. I sat in the parking lot of a grocery story with my youngest son beside me and wept for her death and the death of a dream… a woman, a teacher and a United State citizen. I wept for K.F. Kennedy because he was me…a young person in quest of a dream. These were all a part of me… a citizen of the United States.
So when my friend voted for Hillary Clinton for Democratic nomination for President of the United States, it was because Senator Clinton represented all that woman had worked and hoped for all of their lives…to be perceived as capable and intellectual equals to anyone. She is me!
I will have to say that I voted for her for all the same reasons and so much more. I voted because I admired the fact that she did not quit, that she actually made my vote count. I voted for her because I saw that she understood that what our country needed was, not so much a winner, but a right to be involved to the end. I knew that we needed health care for everyone. (Our nation has run on the interested of a market driven economy so long that I am not sure that the powers that be will ever be willing to make a shift from profit to compassion.) But we all know that no child should ever be left without health care while I sit at a table and eat steak. The sad thing is that one lazy person can ruin it for a thousand low wage people. But we need to make a change and soon. Period!!!
I am a woman that read Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn in the 1980’s. (That Man Cartwright is another of her books.) A book about racial inequality and injustice set in the south during the civil right movement, helped me understand the journey a person of color must make in a world ruled by white people. It was a eye opener and a life changing journey for me. I insisted that my children and even their spouses read the book. I wanted them to somehow get it. So now we have Barach Obama! He is me!
Barach Obama is a charismatic, delightful personality. After watching his speech I was reminded of the days when I watched JFK speak to our hearts. I was taken back to a time when all things were possible because we could do it. We could take care of our poor and make a sacrifice so the whole would benefit. We could do it. I am on this night feeling hopeful that our country will shift from political inuendo to the business at hand. I am hopeful that the Republican party will not find a “moral” misdeed and all the self righteous and holier than thou citizens will not manage to shift the focus from what really counts…our citizens and our Democratic system.
I never dreamed that a Hillary Clinton, a women of intellect and vision and a Barach Obama, a man of color, charisma and substance, would be viable candidates for President of our country. But I do know now that they are me…the dream never dies and if I live long enough the dreams that seemed impossible in my youth may indeed come true.
So, in the end, it comes down to a few factors that seem to be the focus of this political season…Universal Health Care, child taught to their abilities and not an unreasonable mark that leaves the brightest and the challenged behind, the end to the war in Iraq and a hopeful country that regains it stature in the world. These dreams are mine.
Dare I hope that the next four years will be different? Please let it be so!