Sunday, June 8

:: A note about redemption

I feel it's only fair to warn you that this is a sappy post. Feel free to pass and go on to the next one. Hopefully ciccina or lady bec (or buffy if she isn't still coughing up a lung) will come forward with more cogent analysis of yesterday's news. In the meantime, you get my emotional reaction.

I found myself in tears a lot yesterday as I was listening to the news about Hillary's farewell speech, and Barack's gracious acceptance, and it left me rather confused. I mean, it's not like we didn't know what Hillary was going to do. Hell, we knew it was over weeks ago, even though I was proud of her for fighting it out to the very end. We could probably even have guessed what she was actually going to say: she's talk about the historical meaning of her campaign, the message for little girls, the value of young people, a big endorsement for Obama, etc. So why the tears?

Well, for one thing, watching her finally concede defeat was heartbreaking in itself. And it was a really good speech, even if filled with predictable elements. But then I realized that it wasn't just about Hillary's departure. A few minutes after hearing coverage of her speech, I found myself in tears listening to an NPR story about students at Howard University Middle School, and how Obama's campaign has affected them. Teachers spoke about the changes they'd seen in their students since the campaign started, how much more energetic and engaged they were in their studies. Students talked about how Obama inspired them.

And that's when I realized why I spent so much time in tears: because both of these campaigns have inspired millions of people in this country in ways that past campaigns never could. When I look at McCain in light of the two Democratic contenders, I wonder how on earth people could see value in sticking with white, privileged, narrow-minded, callous, boring, old-fashioned, conservative, war-mongering policies of this administration, as well as a McCain administration. Hillary and Obama's campaigns each talk about a United States that I want to be a part of. And it's been a long long time since I've felt that kind of political emotion. So yes, there were tears of sadness yesterday, but frankly, tears of hope, tears of happiness that these campaigns have reached and touched people who would otherwise have stayed out of the race.

Now, back to our regularly schedule, cynical programming.


RS said...

Awww.... that's sweet :-)

I was going to write more about Senator Clinton's campaign - but I think that will be better as a post on my own blog. Here's to a (liberal) woman POTUS in 2016 - God knows this country needs that barrier also (officially) smashed.

Nina Miller said...

Beautifully put, dear.

I wish you could have been with us yesterday. Other than Buffy acting as "patient zero" for an incipient epidemic of coughing sickness, it was great. One of the finest moments, actually, was when she talked about equal rights for everyone, and said "gay and lesbian Americans" so clearly, loudly and proudly. It was such a thrill. At a different point, she was talking about the long journey we've taken as women, and a guy - I'm pretty sure one of the glbt contingent, yelled "and us!". Just gorgeous.

The funny thing about reasons for supporting Obama - while so many people have said it should not be about his race(s), I've always thought that was one of the best reasons to support him. That he has inspired so many children / teems - both of color, and lacking thereof - is such a tangible good.

And I see RS is a softie at heart. I knew it! :-)