Change Has Not Come My Way, Yet

November 5, 2008 at 9:08 pm 4 comments

I didn’t wake up today feeling the same overt optimism that, I can only assume, most Americans did.

Ironically, I voted for Barack Obama.  And yet, the rockstar power fails to permeate my pessimism.

Today, I floated through the day feeling down, depressed and, frankly, irrelavent to the rest of the world.  Sure, it’s in part due to my unfettering stress level, which I’m happy to report I’m seeing someone about on Monday, but there was just something off today, something unrelated to my kids, school, or normal, everyday stresses.  No, this feeling of removal, I think, is directly related to my disappointment as a result of this year’s election.

See, my issue is this:  I read blog posts, tweets, and such from people overwhelmed by the optimism they felt when Barack Obama clinched the Presidency.  It saddens me that I don’t feel similarly.  I see this incredibly intriguing, vivacious, and charismatic young man, and he’s brilliant, a captivating speaker and I can’t see past that.  My little, pea brain just can’t see how Barack Obama will acheive all the campaign promises he’s made.  Just can’t.

Back in the day, I worked as an intern for my state’s legislature and hoo wee, it was an eye opening experience.  Certainly, a state general assembly resembles little of a federal government, but, politics are politics nonetheless.  The woman I worked for, a Republican, prided herself on her work on reforming our state’s welfare system and issues concerning transportation.  I learned tons from her, mostly that without constituents, elected officals are nothing.  So, any issues a concerning her constituency concerned her, no matter their party affiliation, no matter how insignificant the issue seemed to anyone else.  She was a true lady, in every sense of the word.  She was a strong, smart, well-spoken and much-loved legislator who unfortunately lost her battle with cancer a few years ago.

She was a ranking member on the health and human services committee, which meant she was the highest ranking, minority party member.  The chair of the committee believed in putting on a good show on the chamber floor or in public hearings, but conducted most decision making behind closed doors, or screaming down the hallway from the doorway of his office.  Sadly, much yelling filled that building on a daily basis, which, ironically, meant work was getting done.  From what I heard from my fellow interns was this was one of many non-traditional methods employed by their bosses of helping the political process along.  Needless to say, the experience opened my eyes wide to the operations of government.  It made me cynical and untrusting of most everything politicians say, for most times, actions rarely live up to the promises made during an election.

I’m frightened by folks who put all their eggs in the Obama basket, believing he is our country’s savior who can lift our nation out of the hell hole we’ve been put in to.  That there was a greater interest in shaking the evil elephant brand than, well, anything else.  That the star power of forces like Oprah and Pitt and DiCaprio and Damon spoke to throngs of folks to jump on the bandwagon, too.  Not that I think they were wrong, I’d just hate to think anyone put a celebrity crush over being informed.

Now, don’t mistake my issue for support for John McCain.  I’d initally considered voting for the GOP ticket, but a few things changed my mind.  First, McCain and Palin both support overturning Roe v Wade which I just can’t get behind.  Also, I recently wrote a research paper on the topic of George W. Bush and his relationship with the neo-conservative think tank the Project for a New American Century, through which I discovered McCain employed the same leaders who developed Bush’s foreign policy, which, again, I can’t get behind another scary and bound-for-failure foreign policy plan.

I received a A + on that paper.  Score!

Perhaps once I get my personal issues straightened out the optimism will flow and Obama will have both my excitement and my support.

Until then…


Entry filed under: Current events.

Doctor? Doctor? Life, at a Zillion Miles per Second

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Christy  |  November 7, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Maybe you missed the point. =} Some of the optimism and excited is due to 1) No more Bush, 2) Electing our first black president – he represents such an incredible shift in our nation’s ideology in just 40 years, 3) Hope. It’s not all blind faith, some of us are just hopeful that positive change will come.

    Obama only had slightly more than half of the popular vote, so there are a heck of a lot of unhappy people out there. And of the rest of us, not everyone thinks he’s the second coming. I voted for Obama largely to avoid McCain, honestly. Still, I cried when he was elected and have been doing an internal happy-dance ever since. There are a lot of emotions tied up in this election that go far behind politics.

    I think, given all that you have been dealing with, it’s not surprising that you’re not on the happy bandwagon. Once the real work begins, we’ll start to get a sense of whether or not he’ll be able to enact real change. It will happen whether we’re feeling jubilation, or not.

    I’m glad to hear you’re getting some extra help for yourself. As someone who deals with depression, it’s especially hard to watch someone else go through a difficult time.

  • 2. admin  |  November 7, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I don’t think I missed the point, I think I’m just too damn cynical. This Rahm Emmanuel choice for chief of staff really confirms what I’m fearing. Emmanuel doesn’t have the best reputation for playing nice with others, especially Republicans, and Obama, from what he said at Grant Park is that he’d listen, “especially when we disagree”.

    Will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

    Thanks, as always, for the insight. I love it!

  • 3. Monica  |  November 7, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I hope he makes you a believer soon. It really does feel wonderful to be hopeful again.

  • 4. Christy  |  November 8, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    I guess I meant that some of the celebration has nothing to do with politics. I have a natural lack of trust for anyone who would want to run for president and who would manage a political career that could garner that sort of support. I was moved by the social aspects of the election. I’m withholding judgment and/or celebration on the politics until I see him in action. My “maybe you missed the point” comment didn’t come off the way I intended it!


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