Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I promise you, I will never inflict seriousness and earnestness on you like this ever again. But what's worse? Putting up with reading one humorless blog entry or dealing with three more eons of Bush rule?

I have been a volunteer for the Barack Obama campaign since August of 2007. I have never felt as passionately about a candidate as I do about Barack Obama. I could go into my reasons but I am not here to sell him to you. Merely express my thoughts about today.

I headed towards Reunion Arena around 11am. Along the way, I met a girl my age and we started talking about everything from music to movies to our disgust at the way America has turned over the past 7 years. Yeah, it's a long walk. We both talked about the fact that we were both in our late twenties (me 27, her 28) and that a Bush has been either our Vice President, President or Governor our entire lives. It's a sickening thought.

But then (and this is the part where you can feel free to dismiss this whole blog entry as "cheesy") we got to Dealey Plaza. The deafening sound of the three news helicopters that hovered above drowned out the fountains. There were dark storm clouds to the south. Then the only thing that could possibly overpower the din of the hovering helicopters happened. The clock at the Old Red Courthouse struck noon and the bells peeled or tolled or whatever it is exactly they do. Metallica seems to think they toll, so let's go with toll.

Let me back up a little. I was raised by my Mom who is a history teacher. To say that we are a family of history buffs is putting it extremely lightly. My favorite things to watch as a kid were those Time Life videos that covered the 20th Century a decade at a time. I would stay up past my bedtime reading this under the covers with a flashlight:

And I remember, as a kid, feeling an overwhelming feeling of sadness for the people who attended the Robert Kennedy rally at the Ambassador (RIP) Hotel in Los Angeles. Because even as a kid, I realized how hopeful they must have felt listening to Robert Kennedy speak. In the context of 1968 and Vietnam and the recent assassination of Martin Luther King, it must have felt like they at least had this one thing left to cling to for hope. They had one reason to be hopeful. And to have that violently ripped out from under them is unfathomable.

So back to the bells and for whom they toll and all that stuff. I don't know why but walking across Dealey Plaza today with the kinetic excitement of helicopters hovering and bells ringing and people flooding in from all directions made me kind of realize how hopeful those people probably felt that night at the Ambassador. There's a shitty unjustified war going on, people who are trying to make a change or bring about some small parcel of justice in the world are getting assassinated and young people seem to finally be tired of being spoken for by old white men who don't care about them. It's the first time in my life that supporting a candidate actually seems to mean sending a message.

I never got into the rally. And I have never been happier. I didn't get in because there were already 20,000 people who camped out to get inside. And another 10,000 or so who stood outside hoping to get in. That's 30,000 people in my city who represent the hundreds of thousands of others who also want change. So I walked back to my office in time to watch the entire speech online. To say I am hopeful is an understatement.

1 comment:

MR GONAD TUKKLE of Lower Saxony said...