Today in My History
IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2008
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Vote! from Bev Sykes on Vimeo. You Tube
3 November 2008
The big day is almost here--and I'm more scared than I've ever been. More scared, even, than the thought of GWB winning a second term...and believe me that was pretty darn scary (and I think history has proven me right to be scared).
I finally turned off TV 24-hr news. I couldn't take another pundit predicting an Obama win, or another talking head letting me know how McCain was creeping up in the polls. I've seen polls be wrong before. Horribly, horribly wrong. In both directions--the one I wanted and the one I didn't. I don't want to know the theoretical outcome of Tuesday's vote; I want to know the vote. And I'm afraid to hope for the best.
Obama's whole campaign has been built around hope. It was his ability to instill hope in a heart (mine) that I thought had lost all ability to hope that our leaders could inspire us. They call it soaring rhetoric without any practical experience. Well, I think we need soaring rhetoric right now. We've had 8 years of a man looking like a deer in the headlights, tripping over his own words, saying "nucular" and unable to put two words together to form a coherent sentence. We need someone who is going to inspire us to want to do more than "go shopping" to rebuilt the economy. We need someone who has the words to inspire us to want to do public service, to feel a part of building this country again.
John McCain won't do that. Barack Obama will. From the very early days I listened to him and felt I should go volunteer to do something. Something to prove that Americans care about each other and the country, that we all want to work together to make this a better country.
I've never had that feeling listening to a McCain speech.
And so I want to hope. I want to hope that this is going to be a clear victory for Obama. I'll even settle for a marginal victory. Just so it's a victory.
But you see, I'm afraid to hope.
I've been a Cal Bears fan for too many years and remember how many times we sat in the stands at a football game groaning 'Oh Cal...you're so....bad!"
I've been a Giants fan for too many years, watching them blow yet another game.
I've been a 49er fan for too many years, especially post-Joe Montana years, watching yet another losing game.
I know about hope, and about having those hopes dashed. I sometimes get so superstitious that I won't watch a game because I know that if I'm there, or watching, the team is going to lose. It's me. I know it's me.
So I'm almost afraid to vote for Obama for fear it will be his kiss of death.
I turned on Fareed Zakaria's show on CNN today and a group (including Madeline Albright) was talking about what Obama should do about Iran. I wanted to scream "STOP TALKING...DON'T JINX IT!!!"
When a guy came around last week to talk about Obama, I agreed to help get out the vote on Tuesday. He explained this would mean calling people in our precinct to remind them to vote.
But then I got a call from a woman who wanted to know if I'd walk the precinct and post information about voting on Tuesday, and I agreed to do that. I didn't exactly walk it, because the area was "a hefty schlep" (she said) and it was raining, but I did drive around and post my flyers giving information about polling place and reminding people to support Obama. She promised I wouldn't have to talk to anybody (and I didn't).
It's not exactly working at Obama headquarters and being intensely involved in the campaign, but it's something and the first active campaigning I've done for a candidate since I was part of Scientists and Engineers for Johnson, back in the 1960s, when I was campaigning against the other Senator from Arizona: Barry Goldwater.
But Obama is the kind of candidate that makes me want to do something, even if it's calling people to remind them to vote, or walking in the rain to distribute poll place information.
I so want to hope.
I so hope my hopes aren't going to be dashed.
MILES TO NOWHERE: 83 miles