(Can we fix it? YES, WE CAN!)
Well, Election Day is here at last. But Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man and I won’t be going to the polls. Why? Because we already did. Last week at our local branch library.
We had to wait about half an hour, but we didn’t mind. I’ve always enjoyed waiting in line to vote, studying the faces around me, wondering what their stories are, and pondering who they might be voting for and why. Everyone was quite somber—it seemed we were all aware of just how important this election is and how much is at stake. I was very nervous as I began to fill in the little ovals with the provided pen. And so afraid of making a mistake that, of course…I made a mistake.
I didn’t think it was a serious blunder, but I had to make sure, so before I fed it into the machine, I showed my ballot to the nice man standing beside the machine and asked him if my mistake would affect my votes. He took my ballot in hand and studied it.
“So…I see…you voted a straight Democratic ticket?” he said in a booming voice that seemed to echo throughout the small library conference room. The low hum of conversation in the room stopped. People looked up from their voting booths. Faces turned in my direction. And from the look on some of those faces, you’d think he had said, “So…you and your husband are flesh-eating zombies from Hell, are you?”
I felt my face turn red and whispered, “Yes…yes, I did.” He studied the ballot further, then handed it back to me with a smile and told me it was fine. My hands were shaking as I fed it to the machine and fled.
Not that I was surprised to see those hostile faces. We live in a very rural and very conservative community. There are McCain/Palin signs everywhere, but almost no Obama/Biden posters. Not that the Obama supporters aren’t out there…they are…but we all know that a campaign sign for Obama would last about five minutes here. And most of the people who live here are truly fine people—very earnest and sincere in both their spiritual and political beliefs.
Anyway, I don’t generally write political posts (because others do it so much better), but I just wanted to stand up and say that I am proud to have voted for Barack Obama. I am proud to have voted for change, for hope, and for the possibility of the healing of our country.
I read two news items in the paper a few days ago. One of them said that Sarah Palin was seriously considering a run for the Presidency in 2012. The other said that “Joe the Plumber” had hired a publicity team and that a book would be forthcoming. Dear God.
I suddenly envisioned a horrible scenario: Sarah Palin running for President with “Joe the Plumber” as her running mate. Yikes. You may say it couldn’t happen and I pray you’re right, but with the circus that politics has become, it would seem that nothing is out of the question. By Golly, you betcha.
I do pray that “Joe the Plumber” will soon fade back into his well-deserved earlier obscurity. I find his ubiquity more annoying than Paris Hilton’s, and that’s saying a lot.
I mean, really, is he seriously the best the Republicans could offer for an example of “the common man?” Well, I’ll grant…he does seem common. But let me offer for your consideration my husband, “Tom the Carpenter.” He works hard for his $12.00 an hour, he pays his taxes, and if he ever made over $250,000 a year, he would be happy to “spread the wealth.” Because that’s what Jesus told us to do and that’s what Jesus Himself would do. You know how McCain and Palin keep belittling the idea of spreading the wealth? You wouldn’t find Jesus ridiculing the notion of sharing. He spoke frequently of our responsibility to help the poor.
Or, instead of “Joe the Plumber,” how about “Bob the Builder?” For any that might not know, he’s the little cartoon hero contractor/fix-it man who, when there is a problem says, “Can we fix it?” And all his friends and co-workers shout, “YES WE CAN!” And, yes, I know it’s not that simple and that our problems are so daunting as to seem almost hopeless. But we must start somewhere.
So let me add my one small voice to the growing chorus of hope. And let us all raise our voices for change. For healing. For our children’s and grandchildren’s futures….
Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!
Yes, oh yes…we can.