Friday, October 24, 2008

The Political Post

Those of you who know me personally and through some of your own blogs know that I am passionate about politics. I’ve kept a close eye on this election from the very first candidate to throw her hat in the ring down to the final two in the dwindling days of the campaign. I’ve been a complete political junkie, constantly reading the newspapers, blogs, and polling sites, checking sometimes several times a day. Frankly, I don’t know how I’m going to spend my downtime (or my stolen minutes at work here and there) once this election is over.

But I have largely refrained from blogging about politics this campaign season. The biggest reason is probably because the most exciting parts of this election have coincided with some very big events in our lives (me traveling overseas, us picking up and moving, starting new jobs, etc) but almost as much, I didn’t want to be just another liberal blogger talking about how much I love Barack Obama and how distressed I am at the prospect of another 4 years of Republican policies. Really, there are plenty of them out there, and most of them do a much better job than I could do. I didn’t want to feel like I was shouting into the abyss.

But this post is a little different. You see, four years ago I voted for John Kerry. I quietly did my civic duty, went in the booth and chose who I thought was the right man for the job. And he lost. And I was really really upset for awhile that we had to live through four more years of having a stubborn, ignorant, close-minded, inept man making every wrong decision he possibly could for this country. And I was more than ready to blame everyone who pulled the lever in his favor. What I didn’t realize was I had a teeny tiny part in Bush getting a second term as well. Because there was plenty I could have done, but didn’t do. I didn’t tell Dean why he should go out and vote for John Kerry. Dean’s former political philosophy boiled down to the cynical opinion that voters do absolutely nothing and lobbyists and the very wealthy are the ones truly running this country. Of course, that is a self-fulfilling prophecy and one I found unacceptable this election cycle.

Chaos theory seeks to describe dynamical systems whose behavior depends sensitively on initial conditions. The old cliché that the flap of a butterfly’s wings can affect a global event. This butterfly should have flapped her wings four years ago. But instead, she is doing it now. I believe taking care of our country means making sure we ALL do what is best. Whether we like it or not, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Christians, Muslims, Agnostics, Jews, we all have to live here and we are all in this thing together.

If you are not planning to vote this year, please reconsider. If you have not tuned in to the debates, picked up a newspaper, or are counting on 30 second attack ads to get you informed on the most important election of our lives, please take some time and read where the candidates really stand. It is my strong opinion, based on spending countless hours since February 2007 watching speeches on youtube (and in person!), reading proposed policies, keeping track of facts and yes, a little bit of listening to my heart, that Barack Obama is absolutely the right person to lead this country in these tough times.

At first, I felt like I was taking a bit of a gamble on him. I had read The Audacity of Hope and knew him to be fresh, intelligent, communicative, reasonable and willing to work with even with those with which he doesn’t agree. But I was a little worried he wasn’t quite ready. After watching his campaign pull together and inspire so many people, watching him win against the most established Democrat our party could have put forward (still feeling love for Hillary, don’t get me wrong), seeing him choose Joe Biden, another man of profound character and intelligence to help him on this journey, and seeing him put forth a proposal for us as a nation to put this country back together, I am confident he is what we need right now.

People have questioned his patriotism because he dares to point out what is wrong with America right now. If you love someone, you tell them when they are on the wrong path and headed for a train wreck. People have called him elite because he holds degrees from Columbia and Harvard. I want to know when having an education is a bad qualification for presiding over a nation. And people have called him “exotic”. He is half Black and has lived overseas. And to be honest, I love that about him. I love the idea of showing the World, the majority of which is some shade of brown, that we can trust this man with our fragile country less than 50 years after segregation and less than 150 after slavery. People have said that he is naïve because he believes in communication and diplomacy over the pre-emptive war and “if I don’t listen you must not exist” foreign policy of this administration. Lastly, people have called him a socialist because he wants to restore the middle class, the workhorse of this nation and the embodiment of the American dream for millions of immigrants. The middle class is where I live, and where most of you live, and the past eight years have been an uphill climb for us.

Please, if you don’t know him yet, do yourself a favor by just seeing what he stands for. If you are for Obama but think this race is tied up and that you can afford to stay home on election day, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ERROR. There is only way we can really screw this up and that is with complacency. If you are allowed to vote early DO SO. You never know what can happen, and this weekend is a perfect time to get it done. It could be snowing November 4th, you could have car trouble, there could be trouble with the machines (I’m looking at YOU Floridians!!!), vote early and as soon as you can. Dean and I decided that Florida needs our vote so we didn’t register in RI and requested absentee ballots from Hillsborough County. We have marked our ballots, photocopied them and sent them registered mail. I can feel good about my vote, and now I can feel good flapping my wings, because you never know who will feel it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


So... some things have changed a bit since I last posted. The Rays are still playing baseball (ahem, dr. sardonicus) though probably not past tonight. Despite their epic collapse Thursday and subsequent choking, I'm still proud of them.

No, I'm referring to pretty much every other aspect of our lives. We did the unthinkable and moved out of paradise and into the Northeast. Obviously we are still adjusting a little. I mean, it's freezing here and people talk funny.

I know it's been awhile and I have a lot of ground to cover. Unfortunately, I can't do most of it tonight. We just got the internet this weekend and the computer hasn't left Deano's lap. That's fine because I get it at work and can do a little blog checking. But I will not post to my own blog at work. Too risky. Not that I have anything to hide and I am really enjoying my job. But the comfort level that comes with people knowing I have a blog and weaseling the URL out of me just isn't there.

Anyway, the move went really well. Surprisingly I didn't have a complete breakdown leaving Florida, our apartment of six years, my job of six years or the dumpster kitties. I handled all that beautifully, though I do have a healthy dose of melancholy for my old life occasionally. But the exodus went smoothly. There were three people (Deano, his mom and myself), four cats and two tiny cars. I used my incredible packing skills to fit a ton of crap in the trunks and the kitties hung out behind the seats in carriers after being doped up on tranquilizers. And thank God for those because Allie and Wrigley were still trying hard to complain through their grogginess. Dean's mom did the driving in my car due to by interstate phobia which worked well because I could navigate which wasn't easy in certain parts of the country, namely DC and New York City. In fact Dean and I have decided that if we ever move to a place requiring us to take I-95 South through those parts again, we'd sell the cars, take a plane and start over once we get there.

Anyway, we love our apartment. I'll post pictures once we are a little more settled but basically we live on the bottom floor of a Victorian triplex still in the city but a little on the outskirts where things aren't quite as crowded. We are having a helluva time trying to figure this town out. Both its layout and its culture. But we're getting there.

More dispatches from the Northeast soon, I promise.