Monday, November 03, 2008

I don't want to be a pessimist

It's the last day of campaigning, TV ads, phone calls and junk mail for the elections. As Cesar said, I'm cautiously optimistic.

I was two months to young to vote in 1988 - so helping to elect Bill Clinton in 1992 was my first foray into politics. I was a senior in college and not very educated in most things political. I knew enough to know that I leaned pretty left, but mostly it was surface issues. I voted for him again in 1996 and despite his stupidity with the whole Monica Lewinsky thing, I would have voted for him a third time if given the option. I liked Al Gore in 2000 mostly because of that fact. He would keep a good thing going. Even though he didn't get to take office - I was three for three in picking winning Presidential candidates. But I hadn't been super-invested or involved in any of the elections.

After the first 4 years of Bush - I began to see how important it was to elect the right candidate. I spent time researching candidates, leaning about policies, learning about processes. I wanted to know who I liked enough to really make my vote count in the primaries. Living in Oregon now instead of Iowa, my primary vote doesn't really count however, and my candidate of choice - Howard Dean - was really already out of the race by the time we voted. When Kerry was nominated I got behind him. I didn't have any issues with him - but he didn't strike me as someone who would really turn around the downhill slide we were on. He would be better than Bush for sure - but he wasn't my first choice.

This year however - I - like many Americans - am really excited about the idea of President Obama. I think he has the energy, the education, the poise, the grace, and the leadership skills to really make a difference. I don't think he's perfect or that he'll actually be able to accomplish close to everything he promises... but I do see him as hope at the end of a very dark tunnel. The idea of him not winning, scares the crap out of me. I am the optimist of the family. When someone is being an ass, Noland is the one who calls them an ass - I'm the one who says maybe they're just having a bad day. I'm the one who wants to see the good in people. But if the American people would elect McCain over Obama, I don't know that I could have that optimism anymore. I don't know that I could believe that people are inherently good anymore.

I don't want to be a pessimist. Let's do this thing America.


camikaos said...

I'm with you... I am scared to let myself believe for fear of a painful let down... but I'm doing it anyway.

Sara said...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed and waiting with bated breath. Really hoping not to be let down like I was in 2000.