Thursday, May 22, 2008

Election Thoughts

This morning it is raining outside...and if we aren't will be raining on this election.

Powerful and well connected men stole the election in 2000. Let's admit that first off. It was an outright theft of the highest office in the land. And the result of the thievery? More thievery?

Lives have been lost in this unjust war. Yes, 9/11 happened. I was sitting there holding my newborn daughter when the Today Show was interrupted with the breaking news. I grieved, I wondered about family that lives in the city. I watched with horror as the second plane flew into the twin towers. My TV was set to the the news channel, I joined in the nationwide grieving.

Then the country lost its mind, thanks to George W. Bush. There were the neo-cons calling for this war - ok - go fight our enemies - but news flash - Iraq did not fly into the Twin Towers! The country was distracted because the super religious, ultra right wing, holier than thou folks were aghast that Bill Clinton got a blow job in the White House. Ok, that was between him, God, and his wife. So there was a mighty rush for holiness in the White House. George W. Bush - Dubya - went to church, atoned for his sins of the bottle - was good and clean. His wife was a school teacher and at-home mom, good "American" values. What we didn't see was the evil intent.

Super religious, bigoted and powerful people hijacked the nation. I'm a born-again Christian and under any other light would be called "evangelical" for my conservative spirituality. Yet, I like many others, DID NOT VOTE FOR GEORGE BUSH. I separated my beliefs and looked at the national crisis of the time (remember the 2001 recession?), poverty still prevalent, many social ills, discrimination still rampant, the rich starting to get richer, many things. I did not vote for Bush in 2000 and I did not vote for him in 2004. All these years under this regime and our country has sunk to new lows.

The thievery continued. We lost our civil liberties with everything from airport screenings to invasion of privacy in everything from cell phone records to what books we read. We were no longer a free country because we had to be protected from "terrorists." Our Muslim brothers were harassed and mosques were vandalized. People prayed and cocooned, Hallmark made money on "trend watching" and people stock-piled. Then the years went on and the war raged on and the death toll reached higher than lost in 9/11.

Years went by under this administration and jobs were lost, the chasm between the rich and the poor deepened. The evidence of the callousness showed through Hurricane Katrina when the poorest and most vulnerable were left behind. Lives were stolen, dignity was stolen, history was stolen.

Under this administration, we have watched jobs ship overseas faster than a jumbo jet can cross the country. The poverty of the poor reached the middle class with predatory lenders, greedy builders, impossible insurance premiums, and now a deepening recession, housing crisis, and gas costing more than bread. Hope was stolen.

I healed from the stolen election, I healed from the swiftboating, I healed from 9/11, I healed from the first, second, and now third recession. I watched in horror as our president did a flyover of the Hurricane Katrina area - his holier self too good to go down and see about the citizens of the lower 9th ward. I read the news reports of false teachers like Hagee spout off that this was God's punishment for homosexuality. I was horrified that our country had come to this, but I had to remember, this was also the country, with its holier-than-thou-WASPS that began our original sin. Slavery, stealing from the Native Americans, interning the Japanese, hosing down women and children, bombing innocent school girls, raping black women, lynching black men, enslaving brown men in the fruit fields - all of this at the hands of men who went to church every Sunday. So much stolen.

Then a bright light of hope. It was election year, the primaries, and a promising young senator. I like Senator Barack Obama. He is a breath of fresh air, a wave of hope, a promise that America can be someone to be really proud of again (get it right, just like Michelle Obama - I've always been proud of my country, but with Senator Obama - I can be REALLY proud of my country again). A light that this country can truly be for all people and that it is possible to believe that we are better than the ugliness.

Then I watched with eagerness at all the fine candidates until there was just three. I always supported Senator Obama and watched with pride as John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton emerged as the three front runners. Several months ago in this primary, I said my daddy would be proud. All three were fine senators and would do much better than the previous years of choke-hold under the Bush administration. Then something turned my stomach.

Former President Bill Clinton. I liked him in 1992 and in 1996. I even liked him when he set up office in Harlem. He was becoming a statesman we could support (even with Toni Morrison's comments taken out-of-context, black people still liked him). I even supported Hillary's bid for the Senate, I thought she would be a fine person for New York. I was even proud to see a woman running for the White House, I was watching history happening in my lifetime. In America, there was a mixed-race black man, a white woman, and a white, Southern man all running for the Democratic ticket. Hope was shining bright...until Bill Clinton opened his mouth and got all red faced.

Racism...that ugly sin...our original sin...reared it ugly head. It wasn't the neo-cons, it wasn't the holier-than-thou Republicans (although they were just waiting their turn...) it was one of our own. Senator Hillary Clinton and her husband, Former President Bill Clinton dismissed Senator Barack Obama by bringing up Jesse Jackson. They started throwing in the race card when this intelligent, well spoken Senator from Illinois brought hope, unity, and change. I got mad, like a lot of Americans. I wasn't going to let this be another theft. I promptly sent a donation to the Obama campaign.

Now here we are, Senator Obama has won more pledged delegates, in the word of Nancy Pelosi - the only currency that matters in the Democratic primary process, and yet, Senator Hillary Clinton won't graciously step down. She has angered me to the point of total loss of respect for her and her husband. The evil intent has reared its ugly head. She clearly wants to steal the nomination by falsely claiming to win the "popular vote" and by throwing in the "hard working Americans, white Americans" comment. She pulled the covers back and revealed her true nature with the comments about Senator Obama only winning the black vote (last I check while in grad school at the University of Iowa - Iowa is a white state! so are a lot of the others he won like Oregon!). Then they tried to say he was elitist because it was the educated whites who voted for him - again, last I checked, an education was something to aspire to - isn't that the lie that Bush perpetuated with the failed No Child Left Behind?

None of that is working so she keeps trying to stir up fear and doubt in people who don't or won't read for themselves. She has played on the fears of older (over 50) white (Appalachia) uneducated (no college, barely high school) white blue collar voters. She dug down deep and instead of a pantsuite, could be wearing a white sheet, and played into the racism that has been a part of lower class white culture since the inception of this country. And no one took her to task for her comments, yet Senator Obama was held accountable for Rev. Jeremiah Wright and a flag pin! No more thievery in this country.

The Clintons knew the rules going in. She is now whining about Michigan and Florida. In the beginning she agreed that their delegates won't be seated and followed the rules. When her assumption didn't pan out, she started talking about "every vote counting" and didn't really "win" because the other candidates weren't on the ballot. She is stirring up dissention among the undereducated voters who won't research for themselves.

Hillary Clinton acts as if the country owes her the nomination because she stood by her man after Monica Lewinsky. I look back and realize, she planned this all along. She was holding her trump card and her husband was hostage. I'm sure she told him that he owed her the White House. She has been running like a woman scorned. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Hillary won't be gracious and save face. She won't let the rest of us professional women celebrate the fact that a woman came this close. She won't just let the movement go on. She is trying to sabotage the Democratic Party's chances. She lies, she race baits, she plays on the fears of uneducated white voters. She played the race card and tore off the scab of our nation's wounds. She is being George Bush in drag.

Senator Obama has been raked over the coals by the Main Stream Media from the beginning of this process, yet he has remained gracious. I watched him all along and my admiration increases. He is a devoted family man, he is a brilliant scholar (just read The Audacity of Hope to get a glimpse into his thought process), he loves this country, he has a vision, he has helped the forgotten people (remember his community organizing in Chicago) and he is a practicing, active Christian. He embraces the diversity of his family and celebrates the diversity that is America. He has brought more people into the process by going to every crook and crany and talking. His organization is something to be studied in the best business schools. He is a very capable leader...yet Hillary Clinton and her race baiting just won't admit that a black man is more than ready, more than capable, and more than the low class stunts that she has pulled.

The MSM has finally recognized it - the primary is over - Barack Obama IS the Democratic nominee. Even former opponents like John Edwards finally recognized it - and came out to endorse him. He signaled to Senator Clinton - you fought a good fight, it is over, bow out graciously and let's get to the business of saving this country! Heck, Even the Senator from West Virginia (the state where Hillary Clinton did some of her most evil race baiting) recognized it! We don't want another stolen election!

This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Don't let the Hillbilly Machine, politics-as-usual, race-baiting, and dirty pool steal opportunity from the country! It is time out for all the evil that has been done in this country. It is time out for the poverty, the classism, the racism.

Young people, we are the future, don't let a few people who vote against their economic interests decide the fate of this country. There is nothing wrong with being educated. There is nothing wrong with being a person of color in this country. There is nothing wrong with going to an all-black church or an all-white church. Stop the division! Hillary has caused division and polarized this country even further than the Republicans! This must stop1

There is a time for change in this country and that change is in Senator Barack Obama. This is our moment. Hope! Change! I can believe in this!

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