07 November 2008

What J awoke in me

It's funny. The other day Liv was describing my blog and she said of Daktari: "it's about politics". I sort of laughed because for the past 8 years, I have been about just about anything BUT politics. Not because of other interests. Not because of lack of time. Because the Bush administration rendered any effort wasted.

One month before I turned 18, Ronald Reagan was elected President. I learned of this news in the Indianapolis Greyhound Bus Station on a black-and-white television set that I pushed quarters in every 20 minutes to get a show. It's been 25 depressing years of watching conservative America perfect their game. Eight years of that madman and then the beginning of the Bush legacy. The Panamanian Invasion was just the first flex of Bush 41's military will. We had the Persian Gulf War, the first armchair war, as its sequel. It just never seemed to end. When Clinton was in office, the Republican Congress seemed unstoppable. Newt Gingrich penned that sickening document, the so-called Contract with America and, worse still, acted with impunity. Liberal America was defeated. I was in disbelief when 43 was elected. But Bush 43 was so bad he formed the end paren or coda to this dark period in American history.

Or so I stand ready to believe. I think this may be why my conversations with J about race, politics, campaigns, gender, historical perspectives, future aspirations and the like have been such an exciting time for me. This is perhaps why I connected so fervently with the Obama campaign. It has been a long road, not devoid of hope, but in which hope was fleeting.

The thing I partly attribute to Obama (and mostly to J) is the re-awakening of that part of myself that is concerned with the world outside my life. The part of me that used to be engaged and excited and determined to change the world. The part of me that was stolen before I was even old enough to vote. The part of me who knew that I was capable of great things. It's the part of me that I mistakenly attributed to youth and assumed I had outgrown. I didn't realize it was merely dormant, hidden in a dark fog only waiting to be called forth. And like Ebenezer Scrooge, I realized that it isn't too late to change. I am capable of great things. There is still time.


  1. "Boy, what day is it?"

    "What day is it? Why it's Christmas Day!"

    I don't think that's the exact quote, but it gets the idea across =]

    Two things: http://toykeeper.net/soapbox/reform/voting on voting reform (it's not the best written but it's interesting) and, I don't have the link handy, but I highly recommed reading "The Conservative Crackup" dialogue on Slate.com. It's 6 or 7 conseratives talking about where to go next -- and they can't even agree on how to talk civilly to one another. They hardly represent the extremes of the party, yet you get Doug Kmiec, who voted for Obama, being berated by Ross Douthat, who I've never heard of, over abortion and being an "objectively pro-abortion" RINO for "schilling" for Obama, and then Kmiec being offended and sending plaintive words and "prayers" to Douthat, followed by Carlson basically calling Kmiec a pussy, with Christie Todd Whitman and the others basically trying to ignore the conservative crackup within their conservative crackup dialogue. It's rich in Vitamin Schadenfreude (and even some good ideas by some of the conservatives -- along with god-awful ones, natch).

    I'd say something more about your post, but I'm mostly blushing.

  2. Baby, I know how to make a man blush, and this ain't it. ;)