Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Angel of Bethesda vs. the Angel of Death

Today I took my kids to the polls with me, and for the first time since 1992, I really felt as though my vote finally counted, that it finally meant something--I felt jubilant.  The kids were excited to go, and they wanted to know all about the process--how the electronic card worked, how the votes went into the computer.  I asked them if I should vote for Clinton or Obama, and my daughter said, "Mommy, it's your vote" and I said, "But it's your future," and I asked them if it was OK if I voted for Obama, and they were with me.

They went to a rally led by Michelle Obama yesterday.  I couldn't go, I had to work, but Roger got home early to take them.  It was within walking distance of our house, at the high school the kids will eventually attend, and it was packed.  Roger was only able to get them there a half-hour early, and he was only able to get in because Robert's handicapped.  The event organizers saw them standing in line and escorted them into a handicapped seating area.  They loved it, and Roger said Michelle was a great speaker.  

Basically, BCC High School is kind of off the beaten path in terms of political rallies, so for it to be packed for Michelle and turning people away is something.  The Barack Obama rally in College Park attracted 20,000 people.  (Side note: out of 400,000 registered voters in WDC, only 4,000 cast votes for John McCain.  At his "rally" after his Potomac victories, you could hear the individual hands clapping--500 people hanging out with him post-victory?  Meanwhile, Obama is in Wisconsin speaking to a crowd of 17,000.)

I have never felt so good voting in my life.  Since 1992 (and I only started voting in presidential elections and primaries in 1984), my only choice has been a primary protest vote, or going ahead without enthusiasm and voting for the candidate the DNC has forced down the throats of everyone.  I have watched the party apparatus destroying candidates with popular appeal now for decades, because it's all about who owes what to whom.  

That was, in the end, one of the deciding factors in casting my vote--that because of two families being entrenched for two decades, politics is all about fear at the national level--the fear a Congressperson has of going against a Bush or a Clinton and getting beaten up in the process.  You can't legislate, you can't compromise, you can't negotiate under those circumstances.  

That and finding that the last two Obama speeches I've listened to have left me in tears.  My experience in trying to educate Robert has been all about the County telling me no, he can't have this and he can't have that, trying to tell me my son isn't worth investing in.  And I have to keep going in there and standing up to them and telling them that we will be doing what I'd like to do because Robert can be educated and they can't stop us.  

Yes, we can let go of our relationship with our "friends" the Saudis and let them figure out how to solve the mess in Iraq that they're mostly responsible for creating.  We're letting ourselves get pushed around and bullied by a group of men who'd prefer to live in the middle ages rather than the present, and who have no respect for women.  We're letting ourselves be bullied by people the likes of whom the world really should bury and forget, people the likes of whom are destroying the world with hate.  The ruling Saudis are cowards, they egg on the problems in the Middle East because it's in their self-interest to create unrest and human misery.  When have any of them really lifted a finger to help the Palestinians?  They're a bunch of hypocrites.  And it's the money the West pays them for oil that allows them to continue their abuse of all of their fellow human beings.  We've helped keep them in charge for too long--they have to go.

And then, of course, we have the Angel of Death (aka John McCain) who'd just keep patting the Saudis' backs.

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