Archives for posts with tag: Politics

Standing in an elementary school gym during the 2007 caucuses, I cast my first vote for Hillary Clinton. Two dozen older ladies and I stood solemnly under the basketball hoop, all of us wrapped in scarves and winter coats. An ice storm brewed outside. I thought we would be the majority. I really did.

Instead, the younger generations flocked to Obama’s camp. The grassroots were strong in Iowa. My town’s high school art teacher – in all his stereotypical, grey ponytailed, hippie glory – started a chant as their numbers clearly won the caucus. They certainly seemed like the winning camp, the better camp. The fun camp. But I wasn’t on board yet.

I held out for my girl. Hillary simply seemed like the better choice. A little older, a little wiser, a bit more accustomed to the ways of Washington. Some months later, after the ice thawed and the primaries dragged on, the candidates made the State Fair rounds. When Hillary visited, she saw my friends and I in uniform and beckoned us forward, through the crowd.

Star-struck, I stuttered and blushed. I thanked her for visiting Iowa and said I hoped she was enjoying the fair. “Yes, sergeant,” she said. “I’m enjoying myself very much. Thank you for your service.” She knew our ranks. I swooned. She spoke military jargon. She charmed the boys I was with. We took a picture, shook hands, and she melted back into the crowd.

hilary

Conversations then tended to roll back around to what the country was ready for. Are we ready for black president? Are we ready for a woman to be president? Looking back I’m ashamed how much credence I gave those thoughts. What does ready even mean? Are we too bigoted to have a black president? Are we too closed minded and backwards to elect a woman to the highest office in our land? Are we ready to grow the fuck up?

The question shouldn’t be if we, the voting public, are ready or not. The question should be is she, the politician, ready?

Well, damnit, I say she is. I can’t wait to vote again.

Hillary 2016!

Advertisements

I’ve always known my television choices say a lot about me.

Then tonight shit got real:

While sitting on my couch recovering from too many box-jumps at Crossfit, I saw my first Vote Yes commercial (on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, that is). A blond woman holding an inexplicably large coffee mug stared at me and warned me that the gays plan to ruin Minnesota. I didn’t think these commercials were real. Who puts hate into the world like that, so publicly? Who announces their own bigotry?

When the anger cloud moved from my field of vision another – and perhaps more sobering and realistic – line of questions emerged:

What would this woman say to me? How would she treat my imaginary future family? I’d like to say she would be awful. I would like to project as much distain as her commercial evoked. Yet, I think she might be ok. Maybe. Maybe if she met us or lived near us she would see we aren’t so bad. We would talk about gardening and the weather and all those things nice Minnesota neighbors talk about. That doesn’t give me comfort. No, that particular thought experiment scares me. Politics – instead of real life – seem to keep this woman and all the vote yes folks from letting their worlds grow.

Shit, that scares me. Yet here I am hopeful, even a little Pollyanna-ish… Maybe I’m still energized by my new job. Maybe I didn’t drink enough water today. Or maybe it is because of the goodness of my dear, sweet home, Iowa:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pciu3_ti1TU

 

Political yard signs started popping up early this summer here in Minneapolis and none have been as popular as the Vote No signs:

In case you haven’t heard, Minnesotans will vote whether or not define marriage as between one man and one woman. No, wait, let me clarify. That is already on the books. In November, Minnesotans will vote whether or not this definition of marriage should be added to the state constitution. Voting no will change nothing. Voting yes will make us look like jackasses in the history books.

Oh Minnesota, let’s stick with the lakes for notoriety not bigotry.

On the plus side, not often can I walk down a residential Midwestern street and know – know with real, unadulterated certainty – that at least some of the residents support me. As the girlfriend and I think about moving in the near future, these signs tell us where we might want to settle. These signs advertise where our family will find acceptance. No matter what happens in November, that’s a damn good feeling.

%d bloggers like this: