Thursday, October 30, 2008

We're almost there

Couldn't believe we did it, but we'd planned a dinner out with friends last night instead of staying home to watch either Barack's half hour or the Phillies game! Thank goodness for DVR! Our friends, almost lifelong for Howard and twenty-odd years for me, are good Republicans, so we usually try to avoid talk of politics. We have grandchildren to brag about, stories of life in a 50+ community to share and other passions in common, so the friendship does just fine without politics, thank you very much.

Last night was different. The topic was approached gingerly, but it was soon evident that this year, this election, neither of them is comfortable pulling the Republican lever. They aren't nuts about voting Democrat either, each for a different reason. But what amazed me was that they were willing to listen to our feelings and beliefs about Barack's potential as a great president with interest and a lot of agreement. We've always felt that good friends should be able to talk about anything without the discussion sinking to rancor, but in many cases that just doesn't happen, so we take cues from our companions and either venture in or not. We were thrilled to have an intelligent, open-minded give-and-take about the coming election! It didn't hurt that we left them after dinner with the firm belief that they will be pulling the same lever as we.

I was a graduate student in the era of John Kennedy, a young mother in that of Robert. Like so many of my generation, I saw in Bobby a hope for a better, more peaceful and respectful world, where the differences among peoples were minimized and we finally had a leader who would teach us, by example, how to love one another and achieve peace. I've always believed the world would have been a much different place had Bobby lived and served two terms as president. No use wondering, however, because that was not to be. Now, I feel the same stirrings of hope and excitement when I listen to Barack Obama. Perhaps this time, this election, we will get that chance again. We will have an intelligent, compassionate and wise leader who will appeal to the best in all of us. We will be able to show the world that the United States can do better than it has; that the bellicose face of unilateral action isn't really who we are. Our president will look like most of the people of the world, but he is an all-American man of principle, faith and love for his country, his family and his fellow man.

Four years ago, I listened to Barack as he gave the Keynote for the Democratic National Convention that nominated John Kerry. I remarked to my husband that we might have the wrong guy running, that this young man had the mark of greatness and I saw him as a future president, maybe even four years from then should Kerry lose. Way back in the 80s, I saw a young goalie named Ron Hextall come leaping out of the gate at a Philadelphia Flyers game and told Howard that I thought the kid would be one of the greatest goalies in Flyers history. Right then, too! I'm a pretty good predictor, huh?

Like most of my friends and acquaintances, I'm tired of the campaign. It's gone on far too long and has gotten so hideously ugly and filled with fear that I can't wait for Tuesday. Perhaps after we've all done our civic duty and a president-elect is declared, we can rest a bit and wipe the airways and tv stations clear of the constant barrage of political discourse/attacks/propaganda. It will be a pleasant relief.

In January, whoever we elect will face the daunting task of beginning the repair of everything that's gone wrong for our country in the past eight years. I hope he surrounds himself with the best and the brightest in each area so the job gets done well. We have a country to save.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home