I hate to admit it. I really do. But maybe a confession is in order. Although I most definitely voted for Barak Obama twice in the past 8 years, I am ashamed to admit the first time I voted for him I did not like him. Why?
I have been a feminist since the late 1960's and I have been waiting patiently for a smart and politically savvy woman to have a clear shot at becoming president. I was pumped up and flying high when Hillary Clinton stepped forward to run. She was my senator when I lived in NY State; in my book she was a fabulous senator. I knew she was the one. "We" finally had a chance. I was angry when this bright young man stepped in. I knew he was smart, I knew he was principled, I knew we were going to be in good hands with him in charge. I was psyched and heartened to know we were finally going to have a president who was also a person of color. I loved the youthful and progressive energy that surrounded his campaign. But I was still seething with anger because MY candidate didn't win. As if it as all about ME. Sheesh, sometimes I just can't stand myself.
I was so freakin' angry that I actually refused to watch his speeches for YEARS. Yep, I'm a big baby. I couldn't even say his name with out spitting the words out, kind of like Jerry Seinfeld's reaction to Newman. My husband, a stalwart Obama supporter from the get-go, wondered if I had lost my mind. It took me 3 years to warm up to him. Obama, that is. Well, maybe my husband, too. Three wasted years of stubborn anger and miserable bitterness. Three years when Barak Obama had already hit the ground running and was working hard to pull us out of a recession he did not cause.
Now, I see him as a great president. Not only do I like him, I admire him. Okay, I kinda love him. I have to admit that, perhaps... he was the right person at that point in time to become president. In fact, I wish I could vote for him again, because I would.
I am not proud of my emotional reaction to the 2008 presidential race. That is exactly what it was, by the way, an emotional reaction. I AM proud that I did and still care strongly about feminism as an issue. The thing is, one can't just care about only one or two issues. Then we stagnate, which only diminishes our cause and makes the world smaller and meaner. We have to see the bigger picture.
I hope you all watched President Obama speak last night at the DNC. It was one of the most powerful speeches I have ever seen.