Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I just voted. Despite several friends informing me, "Your vote doesn't really count," insofar as my ability to help elect the next president of the United States, casting my ballot today felt good. Really, really good. It's the first time in three presidential elections that I felt like I was helping to make a significant mark on our nation's history. If you haven't yet hit up the polls, I hope you're planning to after work, school, etc.
My friend Nina has been in Colorado for the past two months organizing volunteers to campaign for Obama in crucial swing states. She recently sent an email detailing her experience and urging everyone to join the fight for a better future. It moved me, and she agreed to let CW reprint it below
Dear Friends and Family,
The election of our life time is tomorrow, are you ready!? What follows is a diatribe that may do no good, but the campaign trail has hit me hard and I wanted to share my thoughts with those I care about most. I miss Salt Lake. It took me 6 years to commit, but I love my city. I love my main st. coffee garden, I love my better-than-tv people watching at the trax stop, and I love the balcony at my apartment. I love Broadway and Slowtrain; Urban Lounge, Ginza and Trio Café. I love my friends and the mountains and Kyle Korver and Brewvies, I LOVE SLC.
But I left it all to help my bigger love, politics.
Gross, I know. The word seems trite even as I write it. Politics. What a despicable notion. An exclusionary group of middle-aged, egocentric men, making the decisions for the rest of us, the millions of us, the good and the bad of us. Is this really what our founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the constitution oh so long ago?
Actually no, I'm pretty sure they didn't have a 300 year plan. It was more like a thirty year and a 'we'll see if this works' plan. Anyone who has read the fine print and parchment knows that along with some pretty revolutionary ideas it is also just an outline of expected behavior and some out-of-date precedents that mostly mean nothing to us anymore, so much so we've had to make changes, or what we like to call Amendments, to make it work for us. (Sound like any other really old documents people obsess…er…subscribe to?)
History lesson aside, the government is an organic theory that (close your ears Sarah Palin) is bound to evolve and re-create itself. That's why this election instills so much hope in progressive pioneers. It's the first time we have seen real motivation towards a reality-based change in how this country is governed. And after the last eight years I'm up for anything, so having a messiah like Barack in our sights is an excitement like no other.
My last 48 days in this tie-dyed city of Colorado Springs has brought many challenges, personal set backs, bear attacks, plus many joys and amazing opportunity. I have met all walks of life that instill a great sense of humanity as well as many who motivate me to fight harder than ever to change the direction this country is heading.What began as a fervent drive to change the face of the electorate has cumulated to the biggest Get Out the Vote history has ever seen. We will flood the polls with progressives, independents, idealists, radicals, and revolutionaries.
Now is not the time to be shy my friends. Tomorrow reveals the results of a lot of blood, sweat and believe me, tears. It is not the time to stand idly by. It is the time to show those who called me an infidel for letting the blacks and gays vote that we mean business. One of this countries greatest leaders, Congressman John Lewis, spoke with us this last week and said as he stood with Martin Luther King Jr. they always reminded each other to never loose sight of the prize. He told us we must 'mobilize the immobilized and motivate the unmotivated.'
So I plead to all of you who I have thought about absolutely every minute I have been away from to sacrifice your time tomorrow to vote and help GET OUT THE VOTE. If there is a neighbor you know who has no car offer them a ride to their polling place, visit your local shops (Buy Local!) and remind them the polls close at seven. We are all in this together, don't be shy, like I tell my canvassers, this IS the most important thing happening right now, it is our moral obligation to be talking about it.
Obama is only one man, and if we are to beat the Anne Coulters, the Bill O'Reilly's and the Joe Plumbers, we need to be talking to each other, not avoiding the unsavory notion of politics.Rain, Snow, Sleet or Bear attacks, it is time to vote.I miss you all and can't wait to tell you all my stories soon. xxoo-- Nina