Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In My Lifetime

I am so excited. I never imagined in my lifetime we would actually have a pretty decent chance to have either a woman or an African-American as president. To have either Hillary or Obama as the Democratic nominee is just mind boggling.

Living in the Heartland, in a state that during the Civil War was Southern -- and in every area but the two major cities (one of which I inhabit) is still voting prejudiced -- I am astonished.

Here's how I feared Super Tuesday would actually turn out:

My state, and all the others surrounding it, would vote Edwards. The good old boys still aren't willing to vote for a woman, by God. Also, though they're afraid to actually admit it, once behind the privacy curtain of the voting booth they can't bring themselves to vote for a minority. The reality would be that the actual votes they cast were going to be for Edwards. He'd do a huge surge on Feb. 5th, carrying the majority of the Heartland States -- and the Southern ones, too. And suddenly, he would be seen as the guy who could beat the Republicans . . .and he'd win the Democratic nomination. Once again, two white guys would be competing to run the a country always run by white guys. Nothing at all would really change -- just the name of the president.

My heart is overjoyed that Edwards has pulled out. The good old boys are going to have to live with a campaign that is going to feature a woman. Or a Black man. The unthinkable has happened IN MY LIFETIME!

Maybe there's hope for the United States yet.

Obama was in my state yesterday -- and pulled a huge, overflow crowd of screaming fans. Hubby and I wanted to go, but he ended up holding his rally in a place where we would have had to stand for up to four hours, and with my bad feet and Hubby's bad knees, we simply weren't up to it.

At this point, Hubby and I will split our votes on Super Tuesday. He's voting his heart -- Obama. I'm voting mine -- Clinton. Both of us agree, though, that either nominee would be fantastic! We've contributed to both campaigns.

I'm not sure that we will see a woman running for President again in my lifetime. I think, just maybe, we have come to a place where a minority can run and get cross-over votes. I don't think that's true for a woman, but I think Hillary deserves the chance to run -- and this could possibly be the year a woman might eek out a victory, especially if the economy keeps tanking and Bush continues to be a burden on the Republican party.

I've been a fan of Hillary since Bill first ran -- I even had a Hillary button way back in the 1990's. I thought she was great then -- and my opinion has grown even stronger. I think Obama has a better chance to win the presidential election -- because the white men in my state will vote for a black MAN over any woman alive, no matter her qualifications.

Either candidate, Obama or Clinton, leaves me amazed. My family may still utter the prejudiced words, my collegues may still tell the racist and sexist jokes, but this change is huge. We are sending encouragement, not just to our own people, but to the world. This country can change. We are able, slowly, to heal the divisive wounds of the past. Maybe we can find common values among our diverse population. This is a new era. We should celebrate it!

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