Friday, August 29, 2008

A dream I never dared

I never imagined that I would live to see last night, an event when a black man was nominated as candidate for President of the United States of America. I never imagined that a woman would have come so close to winning that nomination either. I figured those things were far off, perhaps something even to be done by our opponents over in the R camp. They had Margaret Chase Smith, after all, and they've got Olympia and Susan in the Senate from Maine while we have sent nothing but white men there for a while. We do have a woman running for Tom Allen's old Congressional seat (Chellie Pingree) and I think she's got a real shot of getting there.

Last night I sat on my couch and got goosebumps when Barack Obama accepted the nomination of his party. It simply took my breath away. Not only have we, the Democrats who have so long talked the talk of inclusion, nominated a black man to be president, but truly he was the best candidate out there AND he is likely to win. This is not a Geraldine Ferraro situation, where she was placed on the ticket as a gimmick to show how progressive we all were. No, Obama is the leading man in this drama, and because he was the best contestant.

It was cruel what the Dems did to Ferraro, throwing her into the fire like that just to make a point. She was right when she said that if her name had been Gerald Ferraro, she'd have been nowhere near that ticket. It's true. She was a gimmick and the boys used her as such. She was no more prepared to compete on a national stage than I am. And despite all the fun we had at George I's expense, he was the guy who ran the CIA for Nixon. He may have been socially inept, but he was smart and he played dirty. There aren't a lot of people who could go up against him and come out on top.

This primary battle was different, though. Hillary was her own woman, not put up to anything by the more powerful men in her life. Truly, I don't think there are more powerful men in her life. I think she is the alpha in her world - at work, at home and wherever she goes. Aside from that, she ran a good race, fought hard, and did not win. She pulled out all the stops and tried everything she knew to get the delegate count she needed, but it simply did not happen. Were my candidate faced with those challenges, I would want him to fight the same way and try every trick he knew. Good for her. But I am still glad Obama won. He's my guy.

I feel like I should be holding my breath. This is a moment I never thought I would see, and I fear that if I exhale to take another breath it will slip away, dissolving like fog in a dream, leaving me heartbroken as the sun streams through the early morning window. It is almost too good to be true. He is right on everything, he holds a high ethical standard and demands the same from the people around him. He has a beautiful, powerful wife who can hold her own in any forum and beautiful children.

Comparisons have been made with Jack Kennedy and with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And that scares me. Both of those men were killed violently in the prime of their lives. Please, God, keep this one safe. Please. Our country needs him and his message and his hope so badly.


MRMacrum said...

How very true. He needs to stay alive. Or he becomes another myth, a footnote we forget and move on from.

I figured we had an even chance of seeing either a black or a woman run for president as a serious contender before I died. Certainly did not count the two of them duke -ing it out over the same chair when the music stopped though.

Good post.

laughingatchaos said...

I'm holding my breath until November 5th...or a Supreme Court ruling. Then I will hold my breath for 4-8 years, for the exact reason you mention. He has such promise and I try not to think about what has happened to other promising men. Sigh.