...Democrats fall in love.
It was a very difficult decision for me. I went in to the polling station 90% certain of who I was voting for. Then I saw the other name on the ballot and I struggled anew with my decision. My mind ran through the litany of reasons for and against each candidate and even after I had checked the box I still stood there, staring at it, just to make sure. I'm not naive enough to assume that my little ballot will impact Utah's stagnant electorate, because it won't, but I'm fully aware that I'm contributing to the popular vote and furthermore...readers of this blog know how hot I get for civic duty.
We've been fed the lines that if you want information: Hillary. If you want inspiration: Barack. Experience: Hillary. Hope and Change: Barack. The second Hillary began her campaign for the New York Senate I knew she was on a fast track to the White House. Historically the NY Senate has fed politicos to D.C. and her ambition is out of this world...connect the dots. Love her or hate her, you cannot argue the fact that Hillary is brilliant and her knowledge of policy is encyclopedic. I really, really like Hillary. I think she's a strong, opinionated woman who gets the Bitch moniker from The Establishment because goddess forbid women should ever run this popsicle stand and do a better job. It's tale as old as time. As a woman - a strong, opinionated woman at that - I'll admit that gender played a role in my early support of Hillary and I wanted to see one of my own, as it were, succeed. It's obviously not the only reason I supported her, but the mind-blowing possibility of a female president is a clarion call to me.
Then I started to pay more attention to Barack. I always liked him. I always liked his message of hope and change. I like that he was able to galvanize the youth vote. In so far as revolutionary candidates go...we have the glorious choice of a woman or an African American...so all in all a fantastic time to be a Democrat and an American. I follow with intense interest all the intricate political debates about strategic voting; once such argument being that McCain will likely receive the Republican nomination and with his appeal to independent voters you need Barack to pull those folks to his side whereas Hillary will polarize the country, invigorate the Right, and not be able to sweep independents away from McCain. There are many other strategic concerns, but that is one of the strongest arguments for Barack.
Then there are the endorsements. If I had a nickel for every endorsement email I've received in the past three weeks...! I don't make my decisions based solely on endorsements, but I do pay attention. I started to feel it about a week ago, a surge of energy behind Barack. It can only compare to the moment when a protest rally surges forward and it started to creep up and eventually wash over me. Again, readers of this blog know how that sensation of democracy-in-action rocks my world. That sensation isn't exclusive to marches and picket lines...it is the same undercurrent that informs my community organizing, my obsession with negotiation, dialogue, civil disobedience, non-violent protest, democratic debate...
Then I saw this video and I knew the cliche is true: Republicans fall in line. Democrats fall in love. I cast my vote for Barack not because I'm a wistful hippie who longs for better days when America was home to citizens and not consumers (even though, wait a minute, that is also true). Rather, I cast my vote for Barack because I honestly believe that he can do it. Si se puede...let's rock this vote!