Nov 092008

I laughed it off when a friend of mine told me last week was going to be rough, but she was right.

The football game yesterday was a welcome distraction.

I busied myself for a lot of today in my study.  I cleaned drawers and cabinets out, producing most of a tall kitchen bag of trash.  I caught up on some archives.  I’m not sure how therapeutic it was, for whenever I encountered anything but the simplest problem of organization, it pissed me off.  (Those are usually little challenges I relish.)

I would like to feel the optimism that Mr. Obama’s fervent supporters feel.  My realistic expectations top out in the vicinity of weary resignation.  The biggest blessing in the aftermath so far is that no one with whom I am personally acquainted is cramming rainbows down my throat.  Whether this is an accident or the product of considered restraint, it is appreciated.

I’m ready to not write about politics for a while.  (Actually it’s more like I think I shouldn’t.)  Whatever happens, we still have to get up, work hard, and love our babies.  Maybe I’ll see what I can shake from a renewed emphasis on said basics, and blog about that.

(Or I could make it Naked Skank Week.  Just say the word.)

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 Posted by at 10:43 pm

  3 Responses to “A little sulk; a political hiatus”

  1. Look, here’s the thing (and this is coming from a pretty enthusiastic Obama supporter); it’s not ABOUT him. It’s about US and what we are or are not willing to do.

    I’m circling around the idea that great (or lousy) presidents are really only as good (or bad) as their ability to a) surround themselves with smart and capable people and b) inspire cooperation and enthusiasm, both from their immediate associates and the public at large. Obama’s great strength (and it took me SEVEN tries to type “strength” correctly – what the hell is wrong with me today?!) is that he knows how to do those things. For the first time EVER, I feel as though the work that I do – as a mother and a teacher and an activist for social equality – matters to my government. Making everyone feel important and valued, not just the wealthy or the super-successful – is key to Obama’s success; people who feel important – who feel like their leaders care about them, are more likely to try to do well. I’ve seen this in the classroom, and I’m hoping to see it in the country.

    Obama is giving us an entirely different – and wholly American – message; we’ve got problems, and it’s up to US, the citizenry of the United States, to fix them. Government can and will help, but the big work is going to come from the base. Trickle-down clearly isn’t working for us on a lot of fronts, and our President Elect is asking us to take some initiative and do what WE can.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about all of this. The federal government is an aircraft carrier, and it’s going to take a LOT of mileage to turn it around. I’m also hesitant about the existing power structure and the tendency of people to be complacent, even when that complacency is hurting them. Change is uncomfortable, and most people (myself often included) don’t like it. If Obama’s going to be a successful president, he’s got to keep his rhetoric on the level he’s been working from since is 2004 DNC keynote address. It’s this sort of thing that puts him firmly in the camp of “unifier” and, frankly, what most inspires me about him.

    It’s not going to be all rainbows and puppies. There will be problems and scandals and trouble, just like in every other presidency. What I’m hoping for from Obama, though, is that he persists in inspiring ordinary people to be extraordinary, that he continues to make people like you and me understand that the work we do matters, and that success isn’t necessarily measured by houses and yachts and stock portfolios, but by living a good and compassionate and loving life. Call me a Froot Loop if you like (and YOU may, by the way; we never finished talking about that…), but I really do think that’s what America should be all about.

  2. Mrs. Chili: What are you going to do differently on January 21, 2009?

  3. Well, for starters, I’ll likely be freezing my ass off on the Mall as I watch the inauguration. Seriously.

    I understand your point, though; *I* probably won’t be doing anything differently because I’m already kinda neck-deep in the health and well-being of my community. My point is that others might be inspired to reconsider their involvement in civic life.

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