Recently, I wrote a blog in support of John McCain. Those that know me, initially thought that I had taken leave of my senses. Some folks read the blog and began to spread the rumor that I had stated that I would never vote for an African-American candidate. The entire experience has certainly become a tempest in a teapot.
I am an old guy and I remember that Republicans were considered the conservative group and the Democrats were viewed as a group that was a bit more free with the purse strings. Now I am not dumb. I know that 6 of the last 8 years have been under Republican control. The budget crisis that has been growing each year occurred under pretty much Republican rule. Things are so crazy, I can’t tell the difference between the two parties anymore.
I do stand beside my belief that increasing taxes on the rich is not a good thing. I do not think that increasing the capital gains taxes is a good thing. The answer is not increasing taxes on anyone.
Stop spending money that we don’t have! Stop spending more than you bring in through taxes. Stop spending money that you have to borrow. Stop it!
I looked at both candidates. I looked from the stand point of spending and nothing else. From my point of view………McCain and the Republicans offered a more fiscally sound approach. That was the basis of my blog. That was the reason for my support.
I live in Maryland. The election was over before the polls opened. It relieved me of possessing a vote that had any consequence. No one was going to beat Obama in my state. It is a sad feeling to realize that your vote does not matter. The electoral college system has some flaws.
I went to the polls. There was no line. There were more election officials than voters. I walked up to the judge, showed my i.d., and was directed to a machine. I hit the language button so the ballot would appear in Spanish.
I stared at the names. I reached out and let my finger hover over the McCain button.
I could not do it.
I could not push the button.
You see, in those brief moments, I remembered the events from my childhood through today.
Angry crowds stoning small black children trying to attend school.
Lester Faubus, the Governor, chasing black customers from his diner.
Governor George Wallace standing on the steps of the State capital promising segregation forever.
Armed national guard troops protecting black school children as they went to school.
Sheriff Bull Connor turning fire hoses on demonstrators.
The horrific battle on the bridge.
The gunshot that ended Martin Luther King, Jr.
The gunshot the ended Bobby Kennedy.
The murders in Philadelphia Mississippi.
Too many instances of hate and division to enumberate here.
Images more than this raced through my mind. My core belief in the basic dignity that everyone deserves. My solid, unwavering belief that we each are important pieces of a world wide mosaic of good.
Then, my understanding that base values will always trump greed, decency will always outlast decay and I am just a wave I am not the water took over.
My finger moved to Barack Obama and I voted for him.
I hit enter and I cried. I remembered it all again.
Later, I attended a election night bi-partisan party. As returns came in, I held my breath. One by one, states fell in either blue or red columns. Then there was a break from the past. Ohio had gone for Obama. Do the math……he could not lose………..
The clock struck eleven and all the major networks declared Obama the winner. In a rush, McCain was conceding, a preacher was praying, some one was singing the National Anthem, the crowd in Grant Park exploded in delirium………..Obama had won.
I cried again. 40 years is a long time to wait. I remember Grant Park from 1968. The battle ground that featured some of Bill Ayers supporters became the party site for the Obama followers. The ups and downs of little battles take their toll on ones belief that we could ever be one nation, under God, indivisible……but we did it.
I will hope that our President elect calls on his pal Warren Buffet for advice. I will hope that the best minds we have will sort out the mess that we find ourselves in.
Let me have a LARGE slice of Humble Pie. I will eat it proudly. I am only ashamed that I did not believe.
It is a new day.
I shared that I supported the McCain fiscal policy. I mentioned my grandchildren. I think I should have remembered my parent’s generation. I think I should have remembered my roots. I think that when we follow what we believe is practical, we may be overlooking what is necessary for survival of our spirit. I think that as silly as some may find it………..our heart will always be a better indicater of what is right. I was guilty of worrying about money and things.
It is a new day. People of all sizes, races, colors, religions, creeds, sexes, etc., etc. can have hope that this too is their country.
Yes we can.