I am feeling very emotional. And I can't sleep.
I have tried really hard to remain calm and optimistic about this year's elections- partly because I have been trying to keep my little family strong after our recent loss(es)- and partly because, despite the major shock and disappointment of our last presidential elections, I want to believe that the American people have had enough, have seen the light, and are finally willing to work for change. Mostly, though, because I, too, have caught the Obama HOPE fever, and I am afraid of losing it.
Now, I am not one to worship the man like a Messiah. There are few people in this world that I believe exude such God-like qualities (my kids, The Dalai Lama, maybe Amy Goodman and Elizabeth Stinson....). I don't think the man is perfect, without flaws or superhuman. He is a politician, after all. What I do think, and what I think we are ALL desperately hoping for, is that change is around the corner. I am hoping that he is going to give all of us the room and space to continue working diligently on the issues near and dear to us- with little or no resistance. I am hoping that his presence in the oval office will inspire people who have been marginalized and hopeless to stand up for what they believe in and finally feel supported. But what I am hoping for most of all, is that my children- one of which has only lived in a Bush-Controlled America- will have some of their worries relieved.
The entire world didn't get as fucked up as it is solely because of Bush, but just look at how much has happened in the last 8 years! We watched Bush- immediately after his inauguration- pull funding out of family planning clinics world wide- particularly in Africa, where those clinics played an enormous role in HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment. We watched America grieve the losses of September 11th, only to turn around and watch our young men and women persuaded into fighting this never-ending war in Iraq. And for what? Certainly not all of the benefits they were promised... Cheap gas? I think not. We have watched community based organizations come under fire and accused of "terrorism" simply because they want to make change. We have watched social service programs, small medical clinics and community schools either close or have money pulled away resulting in less services for those who need them. We've seen more poor air quality warnings, clear cut forests and proposals to dump nuclear waste on sacred land than ever before.
I am anxious. You see, something in the back of my mind is tugging at me, saying, "what if... what if..." and it makes me sick. What if McCain somehow weasels his way in and we have him and that idiot woman "in charge"? What if Prop 8 passes here in California? What is that teaching our kids? What if Prop 4 passes, and brings my daughters one step away from having control over their bodies? What if? What if? Would any of us even bother voting again? I want to believe that people have come out of their Bush-induced stupor and that we finally realize that we deserve better than another crazy-ass, choice-hating biggot... and laws that infringe upon our rights. I really, really do. I know you are all with me on this. Lets cross our fingers, meditate on HOPE and remember we're all in this together.