I’m feeling a bit numb, but not comfortably. Just letting everything settle in. Although I had Patron on election night and not Southern Comfort like madamab, I’m moving a bit slowly, but no migraine!
I thought that November 5th would be the day that my life would return to normal, and mark my political devotional journey’s end. One way or the other, I could return to civilian life. Heh. Hasn’t happened yet. Tomorrow. Apparently, it’s hard to get moving, or declare a direction for myself after stopping short.
The morning after, Riverdaughter congratulated Obama and his supporters, whose dreams were fulfilled, saying she understood their joy. She made some waves! I get what she was feeling, because I saw it wash over her at our NYC election night gathering. Congratulations to Obama and The Democrats! And really, would we have wanted them to be sore losers? (Whoops, I forgot: they already were–to Hillary.) From what we’re seeing, Obama’s election to the Presidency is a huge participatory be-in where African Americans can finally be vindicated, feel and see that there’s a way up for them, and that we respect them.
Baby boomers who fought in the civil rights movement are celebrating that they don’t have to leave the country, that their sixties spiritual dreams are fulfilled, and that anything is possible. Even some of my mom’s generation, who were born eighty-something years ago and live in Florida, went for Obama. Hard-core feminists disliked and demonized both Clinton and Palin, and went to Obama. I’m writing, keeping to myself at home, so they don’t see the tread marks up my back.
By any measure of my life up to this year, I’d be as happy as a clam at the big win. Instead, I feel let down. I’m an emotional being. My beef all along has been about the means, the dirty means, the integrity-less, back-stabbing, issue-equivocating, race-baiting, misogynistic, homophobic, money-mongering, combo far right/left MEANS. Period.
Had either Hillary or Sarah gone to the White House, I don’t see that women and men would have universally and spontaneously rejoiced in the streets all over the country like they did for Obama. Do you? Reclusive Leftist wrote that women are just supposed to wish that everyone else does well, regardless if it’s to their own detriment. I’m thinking about that, thinking and wondering.
Some ardent feminists are such fishes in water that they can’t really tell they’re in the tank. Gloria Steinem was on post-election Oprah, and the gist was: Palin had no content, wasn’t fit to be VP or President, and it’s McCain’s fault for choosing her. Gloria said that the more people found out about Palin, the more they went away from her. (These days, I’m feeling that way about Gloria.) She pontificated that women’s issues are about substance not form: it’s what you’re for that matters, not just being a woman. It’s not that she’s wrong, I just don’t like the holier than thou attitude. Hmmm, more tread marks from another feminist who’s absolutely confident within herself, and elated that Obama’s in.
The MSM and FOX News are doing entire segments about Palin’s reported temper and refusal to be coached before the debates. Perhaps they’re right, who knows, but I feel that once again a woman is being scapegoated by Looooo-sers. Her governor rating WAS over 80% BEFORE the MSM, pundits, and Obama got a-hold of her. I guess I should be glad that Obama won, because Hillary’s treatment would have been far worse had he lost.
Although the spiritual and progressive Left are elated, and Obama’s background agendas and means to power have escaped their horizons, I don’t fault anyone’s celebrations. I understand their genuine joy, but am saddened by what they chose to see and what they chose to gloss over, ignore, or spin. Michelle’s Narciso Rodriguez dress got more perusal than Obie’s record. Yet, a majority of Democrats complained that Republicans ran a more negative campaign. They thought that questions about background, associations, decisions, and policies were extraneous, old-style politics, and off-the-mark. They were all for women in high office, just “not those women.”
I don’t see that Hillary Clinton will be supported by the Dems for Majority Leader. David Gergen was also on Oprah I-didn’t-use-my-TV-show-to-promote-Obama. Gergen said that Hillary Clinton came so close but did not make it through the door this year, but that she made 70 different appearances for him, and women will have their time. Obama’s alliances are made, and despite her generosity, it will never be enough. Just like he treated Alice Palmer. It’s rumored that Rahm Emanuel will be Chief of Staff, and that he and the Clintons are enemies. Right now, Hillary’s rise to Majority Leader or President seems as probable as Obama’s choosing her for VP. (But, I’d love to be proven wrong.)
I always “made the holidays” for my kids. When we lived in a collective household, I’d cook and prepare and engage others to help, and we’d celebrate the Jewish holidays (along with all the other holidays of whomever lived there) — Passover, Chanukah, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur. After the Farm, when my kids were growing up, and even after they were on their own, I kept up with our traditions, inviting friends and family. It was always lovely and warm.
When I moved to New York three years ago, I expected it would be the same. However, when I called to make plans, they said, “Mom, we have our own thing, with our group of friends. You’re welcome to come, though.” Well, as a parent, that was a whole re-orientation—a “mother, please! I’d rather do it myself” moment. I wasn’t in charge of the family holidays anymore, which was a surprise but good for two reasons: 1) my apartment and kitchen are teeny, making complicated meal prep tricky, and 2) I must have passed on the holiday tradition in such a way that they wanted to carry it on themselves, with no prodding or guilt from me.
In Obama’s acceptance speech, I didn’t hear an attempt to lower expectations, I heard a call to action, an exact echoing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We may not get there in one year or one term . . . It’s your moment, your time, and get ready to work. Everybody who voted for Obama, everybody who was dancing in the streets and cried for that moment: You’re on! Let’s see who steps up. YOU can make the holidays for us now.
I’m an optimist. Maybe it’s good. Obama got people to move on his behalf for whatever they thought he stood for, and Obama says that brothas should pull up their pants. (Maybe my son will do it, too. Sorry, dear.) Now that’s something that just might happen in an Obama administration!
I don’t mean to make light of the serious problems ahead, and I’m not saying people aren’t allowed to make mistakes, and I hope for every success, because we’re all in this together now. Some voters, though, might be a little surprised when and if they discover what they actually bought. To them: you wanted it, you got it. And I’m glad you’re going for it. Enjoy! God bless us all, and God bless America!
PUMAs, we still have work to do! Thank you for reading my stuff, helping me keep my sanity, being here to raise each other up, and remaining a strong, clear voice for truth and fairness.
[cross-posted at The Confluence]