Now the real work begins.
I was all set last night to be upset with Senator Hillary Clinton. I, like others, was a bit peeved with her unwillingness to step out of the campaign when it was clear that Senator Barack Obama won. I, like others, was a bit upset by her willingness to incite racism and divide our party. I, like others, was downright mad at her silence about the media attacks on Mrs. Michelle Obama. And I, like others, was bracing for Hillary and her supporters to try to run a coup at the convention.
I was pleasantly mistaken. Hillary Clinton took the stage late last evening, it was after 9pm when I looked at my bedroom clock. She thanked her supporters and came out early to say "Obama is my candidate and he must be our President." She was the Hillary I liked back during her run for the U.S. senate as the candidate from New York. She is a brilliant politician and is to be applauded for coming further than any woman has ever coming in reaching for the highest office in the land.
Now the real work begins. On Monday night, Mrs. Obama put to rest any questions of her patriotism or values. She had all the women crying because we all understand the challenges of balancing work and family, whether we work outside the home or in. We all understand the love of a husband and wife and the undying commitment of a mother to her children. Mrs. Obama raised the bar for first ladies with her speech and kept-it-real. She is poised, professional, and personable. I could relate to her, her tall, slender frame and bobbed hairstyle. She is what I looked like back in my corporate life. I have two daughters and my youngest and Sasha could be twin-spirits. In all her precociousness, she introduced America to something black people have always known, we are just people with real love, real children, real hopes, and real dreams.
Now it is time to get down to business. Senator Obama is the Democratic Nominee for President of the United States. He must be elected and we the people must do whatever we can to make sure that happens. I have volunteered for the campaign because I, like other Americans, am more than ready for a change. In the words of Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, "wake up America." It is past time to end the Republican and big business stronghold on this country. My home state of Missouri, as reported in the St. Louis American, has an unemployment rate of 6.4%. There are 192,892 of my fellow Show-Me state citizens currently out-of-work. That number is probably higher if the report were to include those who stopped looking or those who are in part-time work, not by choice. These numbers are the highest than at any time since 1984. It is time for change in America.
Missouri is a battleground state. We have a Republican governor. Enough said. St. Louis is gripped by unemployment, foreclosures, lack of adequate healthcare for the poor, and schools in bad shape. Our major employers are either laying off or being bought out. This midwestern city is a microcosm of America. The Show-Me State is showing that we can't take another eight years of the same.
Now is the time for the real work to begin. It is not about a single issue or a single person, it is about the 300+ million people in America, the vast majority that are living paycheck-to-paycheck while the top 2% are insulated from hardship because of their extreme wealth. It is time for every citizen to be registered to vote and then exercise that right. It is time to become involved and be the change. The Republican Party along with the neo-cons have tried to label us "unpatriotic" or "not showing sufficient love for our country" if we question the unjust war or call out the blatant racism and classism exhibited during Hurricane Katrina. No, it is time to not be silent anymore and get down to the real work of making this country great again. It is possible, one person, one vote, one door at a time.