Sunday, February 10, 2008


Residing now for the first time in my life in a state where my vote might actually count for something, I caucused with the Democrats this Saturday, throwing in my lot with Barack Obama. As chance would have it - and not unpredictably since I live in perhaps the most educated and second-most liberal neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest - I chose the winning side by a wide margin, sparing me the chagrin of defeat or the necessity of standing up to a large opposition to speak my mind. I wouldn't have minded the latter, really, because although like many folks I'd have been scared witless at the prospect of public speaking, I think that if and when I can compose myself I can be a damn fine speaker.

Our precinct ended up falling about 4:1 for Obama; we could probably have claimed all five delegates if we'd had a bit more time for debate and horse-trading, but I'm satisfied with 70 out of 82 voters. I was a bit worried at first; we showed up to find a house so packed there was hardly room to get in the door, and a lot of them were middle-aged women, whom it's easy to consider the natural constituency of Hillary. As often happens, however, the stereotype didn't really hold up. One older fellow - yes, a man, but still a Boomer - even stood up and spoke for the Obama side, mentioning in his speech that it was, in fact, time for his generation to cede some of their unprecedented stranglehold on political will to the younger generations. The whole of his address really wasn't spectacular, but I really appreciated hearing him make that point. I can honestly say I was not expecting to hear anyone in his generation say anything like that in the foreseeable future.

Anyway, it feels really good to be making a difference for once. I've been politically active since the age of 17, and this is the first time I've ever cast a vote that wasn't overwhelmed by an avalanche of apathy and conservatism. Pitfalls of being a liberal Texan, I know; but was defeating Kay Bailey Hutchison really that much to ask? I've never hated any public figure like I hate that smug vipress, not even George Dubya.

In another first, I also donated to the Obama campaign today. A month ago I still supported Hillary as the more effective politician with the better advisors, but at some point - I'm not sure exactly when - I came around and began to see that we really needed not just a new and different (and post-boomer) candidate, but the symbolism of what electing such a person would mean. I couldn't tell you what won me over; perhaps it was just the ever-growing weariness of Hillary's back-room dealings, power brokering, and negative campaign, or perhaps I was genuinely inspired, not only by Mr. Obama himself, but by the giddy passion he inspired in many of my friends, acquaintances, and peers.

I'm worn out on politics; I really am. I wish I could quit, but I can't. This is simply too important. All in all, though, that being the case, things really could be going much worse!


George said...

Congrats on exercising your franchise! I'm also going to vote for Obama and it looks like Texas might play an important part in the primaries (even if my vote is likely to get swarmed under in the general election).

rinku said...

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