11.03.2008

On the Eve of Election Day

Today I am near tears. A basket case of conflicting emotions. At one point abject despair at the thought he may not win. Barack Obama may not be the next president of the United States. And then where would we be? Right back at the beginning. He could go back to being a senator, but after being this close to the presidency, to lose it to an old man clinging to the idea of continuing an already fruitless and protracted war, who despite incessant wild swings in the stock market, the collapse of the housing and credit markets, a plunging dollar and if not here, then imminent tomorrow recession, believes "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." How could we move forward with him? He wants to continue the failed policies of the current administration despite approval ratings in the 30s for the incumbent. He bills himself as a maverick but voted with Bush 90% of the time. He is not the man I would've voted for had Bush's swift boat tactics not worked in 2000. Yes, I would have voted for McCain over Al Gore in the 2000 election. I liked his personality and beliefs that much. I never would have voted for him over Obama, who so desperately wants not to disappoint us, his supporters, but the aforementioned reasons made the Republican senator from Arizona not even a long shot in the current election.

Minutes after the first feeling of despair, I read an article about Joe Biden's appearance on campus. In that article, the president of Gators for McCain (that this group even exists is bizarre to me) admitted to voting for Obama two weeks ago because the McCain he originally supported has not been present in the last several weeks of the campaign. The leader of this bizarre faction of the UF student body resigned from his position. I was on cloud nine after that! Euphoria! Look at what Barack can do! Look at how he's brining together people of all faiths and all races, of varied political stances, all those hoping for change.

I also have tears of joy at the thought that this baby, this half-black baby could be the next president. I wish his parents were around to see it and his grandmother was well enough to fully enjoy it.

And then there are times like this one where I am just simply being. Full of thoughts which span the gamut, understanding completely the other supporters like myself who can't yet claim victory. So to calm myself I try (and fail) to stay away from the political coverage which is now at a fever pitch. Thank God I don't have a tv. I know I couldn't control myself. It's already taking everything I have not to scour every single article in the New York Times, Washington Post and LA Times. Because once I start I'll be here all day. Then I'll get to the Chicago Tribune, the Charlotte Observer. I'll want to know what they're all saying about who Wednesday I hope I'll be able to call the president elect.

I have always felt an odd sort of attachment and lack of distance from the Civil Rights Movement despite it's "end" more than a decade before my birth. That is partly predicated on my mother's parentage arising out of the battleground of Mississippi and both of my parents impressing upon us the importance of our rights. Education and voting among others which were not always guaranteed to us simply because of the color of our skin. And really, a decade isn't so long. We were born black, we will die black, but that does not make us subpar.

Tomorrow when I go to the booth to cast my ballot, perhaps after standing in a lengthy line, I will no longer be on edge. I will stare long and hard at the name Barack Obama under the office of President of the United States, make certain that I am casting my ballot for that man I believe can help turn this country around, then grin in shock at the beauty of this moment or get choked up that it is finally here.

That night I will gather with the Black Law Students Association and Black Grad Students Organization to watch the returns from 7:30p.m. until. I want to be among family when the news comes, no matter what it is. Right now, it's in God's hands. It always has been. Barack Obama for President.

7 comments:

1969 said...

We all seem to feel the same way. We are on the precipice of history. It's understandable and it all comes down to each one of us simply casting our vote.

Our time is now.

Rashan Jamal said...

This is real talk... I'm definitely feeling this way, you just said it more eloquently than I could. I cant even formulate the words for how anxious I am about this...One More Day!!!

Adei von K said...

his grandmother passed :-(

I remember both you and Drew were fans of McCain back in the day. He was quite liberal for a conservative which is also where a lot of African-Americans reside. This McCain is not the McCain of yesteryear and his followers realized that. He had to switch it up to assure more of his party but ended up as a chorus in a Lauryn Hill song, "You might win some, but you really lost one"

I can't imagine the emotion either way it will go. I pray it leans towards elation.

The Goddess said...

I'm going to be on pins and needles until the very last moment. I'm praying that no matter what the obstacles EVERY ONE makes it out to vote today. There has never been a more important election in many of our young lives and I just hope that everyone does there part.

Ms.Honey said...

AMEN SISTER!!!!!

Vdizzle said...

After much discussion, I told my mom and grandmother that I wouldn't take off to be with them on election day.

I would rather be out at polling places and in the newsroom covering this election than just watching it. They understood.

And I made a video for the paper's website!!!
http://tinyurl.com/5lelu8

Now I'm working on a local judge elections story.

jameil1922 said...

1969... yes it is!

rj... awww. thanks babe. UBER anxious.

adei... i wish she'd seen it. mccain has never been a conservative, never will be. liberal for a republican. he should have known grabbing the far right would alienate the rest of the country. foolishness...

goddess... i'm still in shock. i treat every election like the most important b/c i want the person in place with SOME SENSE when stuff starts happening as it always does!!!!

v... i'm glad you didn't. black journos need to be out there just as much or more than others to properly document this moment!