Yes, We DID!
From an actual email I sent my younger siblings a few days before the election:
“Here’s the thing, my dear sibs: this is destined to be an HISTORIC event, this election. Seriously. November 4 feels like Christmas Eve to me. I cannot WAIT to wake up on November 5th and have this eight year nightmare come to an end. As a working class stiff who has to cut a $2000 check to Uncle Sam every four months for my estimated income tax payment, I deeply, deeply resent the fact that my hard earned money is going to pay for Iraq’s infrastructure while our bridges literally fall to pieces during rush hour. I deeply resent that a majority of my tax money pays for bombs and guns, and only a tiny fraction is funneled into our education system. It breaks my heart, honestly. I could go on, but I think you get the point. I have watched for almost two years the Republicans waging a campaign of fear mongering and unmitigated hatred towards anyone who dares disagree with them. Sarah Palin has called parts of the country “un-American”. McCain has said that the state of women’s health is an “extreme” stance the left uses to defend their position on access to safe, legal abortion. His own constituency is so uninformed and so beleaguered by xenophobia that McCain has actually had to deflect their inane questions on national TV by grabbing the mic back from them and changing the subject. There are too many examples to list here of how they have tried to appeal to our most base sense of fear of other, and fear of change, to get themselves elected. That, coupled with the fact that i DIRECTLY, through my tax dollars, am forced to fund their agenda of vengeance and exclusion, has turned me into something I never thought I would be: a voter.
I am STRONGLY encouraging you, even if you don’t care one bit about politics, to look around on November 4th. Something incredibly important is about to happen. If you are registered to vote, i URGE you, with every bone in my being, to vote for Barack Obama. You know that something historic is afoot when people in BERLIN, in BRAZIL, in LONDON are rallying on Obama’s behalf. The whole WORLD is perched on the edge of their seats waiting for adolescent America to pull the handle for Obama. We have behaved for eight years like hypocrites, like bullies, like ideologues- NOT unlike the very people we are trying to rid the world of to make it “safe for democracy”. That Bush can’t see the irony is maddening, but also motivating. That’s why I am voting. That is why friends have volunteered at phone banks and to drive people around on election day to the polls. It is why I attended our district caucus, along with THOUSANDS of other Washintonians (in some areas a 900 percent increase in turnout rate. NINE HUNDRED). It is why our friends attended a 12,000 member audience to see Joe Biden speak. It is why people have soaped the front windows of their houses in blue in my home town with the words OBAMA 08. It is why my former boss, a staunch Republican, proudly displays his Obama sticker on his car bumper. It is why, on November 5th, the WORLD, the WHOLE world, full of people who have never ONCE cared for politics, is going to break out in song in the streets.
You have a chance to be part of that energy. You have a chance to partake in the making of history. You will be able to say to your kids that you remember utilizing your vote to change the course of history. As a woman, especially, I am mindful of the women who came before me, some of whom literally gave their lives, so that i could, in 2008, vote. Women are not guaranteed that right in many places in the world, so i take my privilege seriously.
I hope you will too. But, even if you don’t, even if you can’t, just be mindful. I’m obviously very involved in this election cycle, and I think my political leanings are pretty obvious. This election is motivating people at an UNPRECEDENTED level. Literally. Our country is 200 years old and we have never had this many people involved in an election, most of them rallying behind Obama. Even if you don’t agree with my politics, take a look around and see how the rest of your country, indeed the rest of the world, is reacting. This is big. “
How do I put it all into a neat little blog posting? I can’t. I can just tell you that I must have high-fived two dozen strangers in the street last night. I was part of at least three impromptu parades, one of which was on an escalator coming down from the fourth floor of the hotel in which the governor had just given her acceptance speech. I screamed with joy until I was hoarse. I hugged my friends over and over again. I watched a 6’4″ man break down in tears of joy and relief when the race was called. I stood in the same room as my mayor and many of my city’s council members last night. I toasted our victory with free beer provided by local, ecstatic bar owners. I had to scream over the car horns in the street, the cheers and the applause to be heard by my friends. In another part of town, fireworks were going off. Other friends were banging pots and pans in the streets with their neighbors. I was told by a bouncer at one bar that he had to throw some punks out of his bar for their appalling remarks towards Obama earlier in the night. “You picked the wrong bar in the wrong city in the wrong state”, he told them. I texted friends on the East Coast at midnight. I ran like a wildwoman through the streets, laughing and screaming, tearing through them like a thousand demons had been released from my soul. Indeed, they have been. Ding dong, the witch is dead!
Let the new era begin.