So, I’m probably going to regret writing this because I certainly don’t want to alienate anybody who reads my website, but here’s the thing. I am obsessed with politics this year. It’s strange, I’ve honestly never really cared that much before now. But this year, I find myself spending waaay too much time on cnn.com and a slew of other news sites, reading everything I can find about this upcoming election. I seriously can’t wait to vote in November. This is a totally new, foreign experience for me.
And in case there was any question, I am 100% an Obama supporter. I know he’s not perfect, I’ve read factcheck.org, I know that both Obama and McCain have misspoken and exaggerated at times, especially in their advertisements. But I’ve weighed the issues that I care about: health care, the environment, women’s issues (equal pay, right to choose, etc.), the war in Iraq, the economy. Obama is my guy on pretty much every topic.
I used to like John McCain. Honestly. I remember back in the 2000 primaries, he was running against Bush, and I remember thinking that he was the most reasonable Republican candidate I had ever seen. If it had been him running against Al Gore, I’m honestly not sure who I would’ve voted for that year. But it seems like in the last couple of years, he decided that his integrity was worth less than his desire to be President. When he caved in on Bush’s torture bill, I lost all respect for him. I mean, for a guy who wants to play his “former POW” card as much as possible, to decide that torture is ok? Yeah, sorry dude, you lost me right there.
And god, y’all, I don’t even know where to start with Sarah Palin. It’s not a sexism thing, it’s not that I think a mother of five (even with a special-needs baby) can’t have a demanding career. That part is fine. But she represents pretty much the exact opposite of every political viewpoint that I have, and she’s even less articulate than Bush. Listening to her speak (or more accurately, try to speak) makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. With McCain’s age and his current health, there’s a relatively good chance that he could die in the next four years. And the idea of Palin as president… lord help us all.
And not that this is nearly as important as the issues themselves, but there’s also the fact that I grew up in Mississippi, and I’ve always been keenly aware of racism in the world. That’s not to say that racism doesn’t exist outside of the South – I think it’s absolutely everywhere, it’s just a little more obvious in the South with its history of slavery, the civil rights movement, etc. Even within my own family, my dad is a pretty racist guy. He was born in 1936 and has lived in the South all of his life, so I guess he’s a product of his generation and environment. We got into a fight during my family’s visit a few weeks ago about the fact that I don’t want him to go on any racist rants in front of Cate. I know she’s too young to understand it now, but pretty soon she won’t be, and I don’t want her to hear that kind of talk in our house. My parents made my grandparents (on my dad’s side) stop using the n-word when we were little because they didn’t want us to hear it, so it’s the same idea. I just don’t want Cate to hear any sentences that start with the phrase, “These blacks…”
You know, that’s just not the world that I want my child to grow up in. I’m aware that racism will always exist in the world, and I can’t shield her from it forever. But I would love it if I could tell her that the first presidential election after she was born was the one where we elected our first black President. And even if Obama doesn’t win, I’ll still be proud to tell her that her mommy voted for him (and that Daddy would have, but he isn’t a U.S. citizen and he can’t vote with just a green card).
But if the worst happens and we do end up with President Palin: don’t worry, baby, you’ll have dual citizenship so you can move to England after the U.S. has been shot to hell.
EDITED TO ADD: The above is all my personal opinion, which as it turns out, I’m allowed to express on my own website. If you disagree with me on every point? Good for you! That’s why we live in a democracy. We’re different people, we’re allowed to have different opinions. But I would like to request RESPECTFUL disagreement, I’m not looking to start a flame war.