Archived Post November 2008

November 2008

Still Dreaming

        Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing
    ~ Suzanna Arundhati Roy ~

            We have come to Washington D.C., on our annual road trip to New England, for Thanksgiving.  This year, we are staying in Annapolis, Maryland.  Our trip is off to what feels like an unusually cold start.  We love Washington, and find that there is always something new to see or do.  On our list, among other things, is a visit to see the new 9-11 Memorial, at the Pentagon. 

            As we are driving, on interstate 395, Kate holds her Blackberry, navigating via the little machine’s suggestions.  Looking for a turn lane, the Blackberry rings, it is Marcial.  Kate will lose her directions, which will not matter, eventually a guard, at a closed Arlington National Cemetery, will point us in the right direction and on this bitterly cold and dark night, we will make our way through the chilling winds, past the guard station, down the designated path, to a perfectly fitting memorial to the 184 men, women, and children who were killed on September 11, 2001, while either working at the Pentagon or traveling as passengers on American Airlines, Flight 77. 

            But before we arrive, at the memorial garden which houses 184 lit benches, facing opposite directions, depending on whether the victim was in the Pentagon or on flight 77, Kate will listen to Marcial’s news.  He is calling to tell us that he and Adriana, his wife, have purchased their first home in America!  His counter offer has been accepted, and before the end of the year they will own their home.  We are jubilant for them.  Having been privy to their tireless search, we sigh with them and lift our imaginary cup of cheer toward the phone.  Congratulations! 

           I have written of their tenacity before – I am continually impressed by how much my Cuban friends embody the American Dream.  They left Cuba, only a few short years ago, migrating first to Canada, and then coming to Florida.  Marcial and Adriana are part of what feels like a dying breed of responsible intellectuals, who continue to impress with their accomplishments, as well as their film suggestions, political observations, and keen appreciation of music.  Their daughter has only a few weeks back toured Wellesley and Smith Colleges, at their invitation, while their son played in a championship soccer match last week, hours before they joined us for the opening night of the Florida Grand Opera season.  Perhaps all is well in America after all.

            I had marked November 15, as the start of our holiday.  We will not literally be off from now until the New Year, but are certainly in need of cheer, after what has been a particularly difficult year.  Before leaving, on our road trip, to the north, we planned a weekend immersed in all that is good about Miami. 

            Kate and I have gone in search of brighter skies, but we cannot leave the politics, they follow us.  We have dinner at Versailles, in Little Havana, on Eight Street or Calle Ocho, as it is more commonly referred to in Miami.  The restaurant is the ultimate Cuban experience.  At midnight, one must stand in line for a table.  The place is almost always filled with Cuban expatriates, their offspring, and like minded.  I delight in the tables of older women, in their 70’s to their 90’s, eating Cuban sandwiches with mariquitas (a fried plantain dipped in a garlic sauce), washed down with tropical milkshakes and Cuban coffee, which other espressos can only aspire to be.  Unlike other more typical older folks, here no one speaks of cholesterol or diets they simply sit and eat, enjoying every morsel and chatting as if they were high school classmates.    

          After the perfect meal, we walk to the car and notice that someone with an Obama sticker has dared to park next to us.  We wonder why an Obama supporter has come to Calle Ocho, but we sadly remember that the Cuban vote was not what had been expected.  For the first time, Cubans under 35 have voted for a Democrat.  I try not to think about the bumper sticker, as we head out of the parking lot, soon to be confronted by two huge Obama signs, draped over a parking garage on Calle Ocho – I guess that is what is meant by the audacity of hope.  They have encroached into our territory and sadly made inroads.  I will confess to being the Mosqueda sister not fond of Gone with the Wind.  I do not dislike the book, but never understood what my sisters swooned about – nevertheless, as we drive through Miami, I decide that I am not going to think about it, after all tomorrow is another day.

          The new day brings us back to Miami, to politics, and to the dance between my American and Cuban identity.  We head to the theater.

           The first hand raised, in the Q and A, which followed the one woman show, was from an older lady who stood to her feet, and in Spanish said:  Yo soy Anaïs.  I am Anaïs.  The audience cheered, and Marissa Chibas, the woman who had written and performed the one woman show, smiled, as her eyes teared and Anaïs congratulated Marissa. 

            Marissa had only moments ago, finished performing her play Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary, which pays homage to her history, telling a portion of her father, Raul, mother Dahlia, and uncle, Eddy’s stories.  

            During the play, Marissa had described and demonstrated how Anaïs had been one of two women, to provide dancing lessons to a group of young girls, including Marissa, as they prepared for a party, in New York, in 1966. 

          That scene, in the play, had reminded me of Sara, the wife of one of my professors, at the University of Redlands.  I was at a party, in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a group of college students, who had mostly come from Redlands, to spend a month in Mexico, under the guise of advancing our Spanish language skills; as we prepared for the party, I remember Sara, lining up the girls, and demonstrating her skills on the dance floor, much like Anaïs – another collective memory of the exile.

          The next member, of the audience, to stand was an uncle, followed by a cousin, and then various other relatives of people mentioned in the play.  We were a weepy, Miami audience.   Marissa says we are all family.  There are loud rounds of applause.  But I have to wonder if it is true, are the collected Cuban exiles family, simply because they share this thread in a cable which creates a connection with Cuba?  

          Why is that not true for Americans?  Why is it that Americans do not look at one another and find instant solace?  I have had the experience, while traveling abroad, of encountering a fellow American and feeling a sense of camaraderie with the previously unknown countryman, but as we walk through Washington D.C., which is already preparing for the inauguration, I do not feel comforted.  I have promised elephant pins to a half a dozen people, and hoped to find bumper stickers to advertise that we are still here, but my old haunts offer only little donkeys.  I suppose it is just business. No one is looking for mementos of President Bush or proclamations of the Grand Old Party.

            The aftermath or afterglow is now upon us.  For the vanquished we gather to collectively lick our wounds and morn. There is talk of the 2010 election, and reassurance, from our leaders, that the loss has not been as severe as perceived.  In Florida, we have maintained a lead in our Congressional delegation, but that does not seem to be enough to stir us to jubilation.  For the victors go the spoils.  They are now busy planning their triumphant entrance.  I pay less attention than I should, but I have trouble hearing Senator Lieberman say that he regrets some of his comments, which were made in the heat of the battle.  It seems that one should at least own their words. 

          However, I cannot help but notice the restraint among so many of the victors.  They have taken their win with grace, it is worth noting.  For us, these are days of changed focus.  There are six weeks ahead of us, before the year comes to a close and we find ourselves in need of that every elusive break.   We shall continue to see where the road takes us, in the coming weeks; and we shall gather with family and friends to celebrate all that we have to be grateful for, even if we can not find a happy elephant bumper sticker – that is all for now. 

~ M ~

November 2008

Winks and Smiles 

“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”
 ~David Attenborough~ 

             On Thursday, I decided I had to leave the house.  It has been a sorrowful week.  All of us, who fought the good fight and lost, have been walking around in a state of shock.  We continue collectively and individually to shake our head and wonder how we arrived at this point.  Yes, we know the list:  President Bush, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the economy, and that insipid desire for change which justifies all.  Nevertheless, we are saddened and broken hearted and the thought of stepping out and back into life has not been easy.     

              Kate had flown out of town and I would have to pick her up, at the airport, so I thought I might as well go out and run those errands which I had been putting off.  After I dressed, I grabbed my purse, and started to walk out of my bedroom.  I stopped, in front of the dresser, where a jewelry box sits, that lately has housed my political buttons and pins. 

               During this election season, I made a point of not leaving my house without something which spoke to the cause.  I grew very fond of my Integrity hat, but most often, I would look for a button or pin which seemed appropriate for the outfit and the occasion.  As I stood there, alone in my darkened room, I thought why not?  I went back to the dresser, opened the box, and settled on the most direct message I possessed – my elephant pin. 

               My hands actually trembled as I attached the pin to my blouse; but as I stood there, adjusting my elephant, I told myself that I had nothing to be ashamed of – I had voted my conscience and it was clear. 

                One of the more surprising developments, of this election season, at least in my neighborhood, has been the sudden barrage of Obama signs, which did not show up until after the election.  I think their owners all cowards.  What kind of person proclaims their convictions when it is safe?  There is no honor in sheepishly scooting over to the side of the victor, after the battle has been won.  I have never had much need or interest in the spineless.  Suddenly, it has become quite unpopular to be a Republican.  Alright, I can accept that, but I am not changing my spots. 

               My first stop, on that Thursday morning was Pier 1, it was uneventful.  I then went on to Michael’s.   It was a fine distraction.  I started thinking about Christmas, finding several additions to my ever growing village, and something to send Melody’s boys.  As I started toward the check-out, a woman, a fellow customer, made a comment, directed at me, which I did not hear.  I answered: “Excuse me?” 

               She quietly said:  “Your button”, as her eyes began to tear.  “I like your button.”

              Oh, I said, taking the first of many deep breaths, and letting my defenses down.  We began to speak of the shock and of the loss.  She too had found it difficult to leave her house, but her daughter, who had made phone calls for McCain, forced my new friend to leave the house.  The woman, who quickly told me she was Jewish, and had been making phone calls, at the Victory Office, with a group of Jewish women, spoke of how much she had dreaded calling her father, in New York.  She had wanted to protect him from her pain.  This woman was trying to be brave.  How had this happened, we wondered together, as people circled us and stared.

            We spoke for what seemed hours, but was probably not more than thirty or forty minutes.  Her courage and her pain gave me strength.  Repeatedly, I found I was not alone in my despair.  All of the angst which Kate and Nour and Julie and Luis and Caroline had spoken of, Nori, my fellow Republican Michael’s shopper also felt.  She had to pick up her daughter, from school, but we exchanged contact information, and agreed to look for each other at Wing’s, the local Republican hang out, where the Party meets, in our area. 

            More deep breaths followed, as I continued with my to do list.  I had hoped for the nice Cuban woman, at the Post Office, but that was not to be.  The library faired no better, but a call from Luis, provided an easy exit.  I continued.  Kate was out of roasted almonds.

            There is a fairly friendly woman who looks over, and then punches, my register receipt at BJ’s.  I usually make some small talk with her, as she pokes around my purchases looking for something which she sees on the slip.  Today, not only did she look over my groceries, but she also looked me over; and as she handed me my receipt, she gave me a wink! 

            It took me a second, as I have never received a wink with my receipt punch, but then I took yet another deep breath, tilted my head slightly to the left, and gave her a great big smile.  She may have winked at me, but it was my elephant which caught her eye. 

            I went to the airport, victoriously reporting, to Kate, the power of the elephant, which was first used in Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign, in 1860.  The party birthed by Lincoln, became associated with the elephant because it was known for its “great size, intelligence, strength and dignity.” Cartoonist Thomas Nast, himself a Republican is credited with tying the party to the animal, and is also given credit for solidifying the Democrats to the donkey, which was first used during the Andrew Jackson campaign of 1828.  Jackson had been compared negatively to the animal, but he chose to use the strong willed creature as a symbol of his own determination. As I spoke to Kate, she too began to feel hope.  We were not alone in our fight.   

            Yesterday, we had made plans to visit the Book Fair, in Miami.  As it turned out, we were a week ahead in our planning, and thus settled for dinner.  As we were dressing, to leave the house, Kate walked in and asked for a button.  I wondered if she might want something prosaic, as she is a Democrat, but she said no that she too wanted an elephant.  I gave her an American flag, embossed with an elephant.  I put on my elephant, though I had wondered if I should.  We did not carry Miami, a source of shame to many Cuban-Americans. 

            Kate and I walked into one of Miami’s older and better known establishments, which I do not mention, as I would not like to bring harm to their Maître’d who greeted me by saying:  “You don’t see many of those these days,”  as he nodded toward my elephant.  

            “Oh, well I am not giving up the fight,” I said boldly and empowered. I had begun to notice that those who disapproved of my elephant did not mention him, they simply seemed irritated at his existence. 

            “Me neither,” he said.  “Nor is he,” pointing toward the man who was taking us to our seat, and asked if we would like to sit by the window, which we did.  I did wonder, for a minute, if perhaps the elephant might also have other benefits, beside hope.  The waiter soon arrived, however, and made it clear she was none too pleased to see the elephant.  That was okay too, my silent protest continued.  I would tip well, despite mediocre service.    

            I have always liked wearing buttons.  When I use to teach, high school history, I would wear a different button everyday, and my students would make a point of checking what cause or idea I was pushing.  As I have gotten older, I gravitated toward the lapel pins; but if a national election gives us permission to do anything, it is to wear big, loud, funny or scary, buttons!  My favorite button, however, is plain and small.  It says: Wearing buttons is not enough.   I agree. 

           I am painfully aware that regardless of the hats, bumper stickers, yard sings and buttons, we lost.  I managed a few congratulatory emails, to the other side; I notice that the long phone calls and visits have been from the like minded.  The despair has been palatable.  What happens now, I have been wondering?  There is only one answer – we take yet another deep breath, and get back in the fight, for me that means putting my pin back on!

            Please know, I wish the other side well, I do.  This is my country and I want to be wrong.  I want none of my fears to be realized.   

           I well remember the hoopla over the Clintons attempt at universal health care.  I look forward to Obama having better success.  Also, I now know two very fine young men, who have recently enlisted in the Navy and the Marines.  (Congratulations to them both, may they serve with honor and distinction.)  However, I have no desire to see either of them hurt, so I look forward to Obama bringing home the troops – I think he initially said that would begin on his first day in office.  I know there has been a lot of flip flopping on this issue, but let us see.  As for the mortgage crisis, brought on by greedy lenders and irresponsible homeowners, who purchased houses they could not afford, and then took out second and third mortgages, to either buy new cars, take elaborate vacations, or my personal favorite to buy additional investment real-estate, well I hope Obama pays off your loans too.  My neighborhood will improve, and I will be able to sell my house. 

          I do of course hope that somehow the Second Amendment is preserved, and that the talk of a government militia is simply idol chatter; also, that we continue to support Israel, and her right to Jerusalem; and when Obama speaks of higher taxes, as a good thing, and the redistribution of wealth, that someone will remind him of how successful redistribution worked in Cuba and in all of the nations which rested behind the iron curtain.  I know, I sound bitter, but I am not bitter, I am scared, and I want us to act.

          I would like to urge you all to have courage.  Do not put the pins and buttons away.  Continue the fight.  You give me courage with your winks and smiles, and I hope to return the favor.  We can acknowledge their victory and pray for the best, but we have no reason to step away from the stage.  I urge us all to continue to be seen.  Our voice may not have as much power as we wish, but it will gain strength in our unity.  Do not put the elephants away, leave them on display.  We may have lost this election but America still needs us, so chin up.  I will look for you and your elephant!  That is all for now!

~ M ~

November 2008


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

“A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.”
~ Richard M. Nixon ~

                   I like the idea of voting on Election Day.  I understand and appreciate the concept of early voting, but somehow it is not quite the same.

                  The line started early this morning.  I could hear people chatting, from my bedroom window.  The precinct I vote at is in my Home Owners Association club house.  When I stepped outside, of my house, I found my lawn covered with cars, as the club house parking slots were quickly taken.  I will confess I slept little last night. 

                   With the exception of the poll workers, there are not many smiling faces.  Maybe people are just tired.  But everything is orderly, so far.  The line continues to grow as people trickle in, checking in with an identification card and a voter’s registration card.  It seems that for every person who leaves, two or three more line up, taking their place at the end.  I continue to recognize neighbors, and make small talk, though no one to want to talk about the election.  It seems to be a taboo subject.  Someone drove by honking their horn, and screaming out Obama’s name.  I could not help myself, I respond, all be it under my breath:  Not in this life time, I will soon be wrong.  I fear I may be out of order, but I had not yet stepped inside, for the moment, I was still just a citizen. 

                  After I cast my vote, I become a poll watcher.  I find humor in the term.  I am supposed to look for voter irregularities; so far it all appears fine, but I do wonder how one would really know.   There are people without identification, and those carrying more than one voters registration card.  More than a few looked confused by the process that seems rather simple to me.  You stand in line, until you go up to the clerk, who greets you, as you hand her your identification and voters registration card.  She zips the driver’s license through a magnetic strip reader, you sign the electronic pad, and voila, you are on your way. 

                 I never imagined hearing such stories of voter fraud, in America.  Standing behind me, this morning, was a man who complained about the long line and inefficiency of the system.   He actually mentioned paying someone off to move ahead.  He annoyed me, and brought out the worst in me, instead of the best.  Up till then, the conversation had been pleasant enough; I now had to point out that we, in America, did not buy elections or access to a better place in line.  He continued to complain about how busy he was, while his wife told him who to vote for.  Voting is a privilege.  He continued to comment about how things were done in Columbia – I am sorry but I do not care.    

                 People seem scared – no I think apprehensive.  There is a lot riding on this election, it actually is a historic election.  Our votes today will change how we look at ourselves.  I see unprecedented voter turnout in my little neighborhood.  People, who have never attended an HOA meeting or shown up for a fundraiser, are voting.  In our last election, we had 95 people vote, in this precinct; today we will have six times that amount, and counting. 

                I have new hope.  Salome sits down beside me and tells me that she is voting for Mr. McCain.  Most others seem afraid to speak to me; I must look like a Republican.  She tells me that Mr. Obama is black like her, but she is voting for Mr. McCain.  She said she supported Miss Hillary, but that Mr. Obama bought the delegates, and took the election from Miss Hillary.  Salome also tells me that Mr. Obama did not come to Florida, and he did not support Miss Hillary with Florida or Michigan.  Where did all of the money come from, Salome wonders, her parting words are that I must watch FOX.  More power to PUMA and JUSTSAYNODEAL.COM. 

                I have gotten in a little trouble.  I stepped outside, to check on Luis, who has sent me a picture of the long line he is standing in, it will take him over three hours to cast his vote.   Kate, in her McCain – Palin T-shirt, has sat down, beside my computer, to keep watch.  Her shirt offends, and I abruptly hang up with Luis so that Kate can leave – my apologies to Luis.  She tells me that a fellow Democrat has told her that he hopes McCain can pull out the win.  Kate is surprised; she whispers the words and heads out the door.   

               I still feel energized.  I am of course running on pure adrenalin.  I have not slept, and I suppose I will not sleep tonight.  Will we have answers tonight?  Kate says this election will end in the courts.  I am hoping for a stronger victory.  I will soon be surprised.

              The lunch hour has arrived, the lines are shorter, but no where near ending.   Everyone is polite.  The grey skies are holding – the sun does not shine nor do the clouds open up upon us – everything is status quo.  I step away for lunch.  Kate has come to retrieve me, worried that the liberals are ganging up on me – I am holding my own.  She does tell me that when she went to scan the top sheet of her four page ballot, the sheet barring the presidential candidates, would not scan.  She had to put the sheet in backwards and wonders if it will be recorded.  The man standing next to me, when I voted, complained he was missing the top sheet.  He sought out an election official, who one hopes has resolved the issue.  One does not know. 

              The afternoons as brought a respite from the long lines, as things continue peacefully.  The lines have disappeared, but people are still coming to vote.  I walk home to eat.  I call my Mother, she has voted!  I am proud of her.  I know it is hard for her to walk, and am glad she did not spend hours standing in line.  I eat quickly and head back to the precinct which is still quiet. 

               I have had a left wing operative – okay a computer technician, try to shut me down.  The little man has proclaimed that I cannot use my computer.  We have a small discussion, I am not using wifi, I am keeping notes, I explain to the idiotic figure wearing a make believe cowboy hat, constructed from mesh, and silly black tennis shoes.  He is a short, bald man, with one earring, a bushy mustache and big pot belly.  Am I really that hateful? Apparently, yes.  He continues trying to question me, regarding what I am writing.  It is, of course, these lines that I write. 

               For a moment, I think about the power of the written word.  For so long, we, as a literate people had held the Fourth Estate in esteem, but no more.  The press is not what it once was.  The romantic notion, of the trench coat clad soul, with well worn luggage, who perhaps drank too much, but always managed to find the story and tell the truth, regardless of what anyone thought, including the editor – that image has faded. 

               The lull is upon us.  There are few people left in the polls, but the room is emptying out.  The smokers have gathered outside – all liberals, I am sure that is a coincidence.  The rest of the poll workers begin to scurry back to the kitchen, opening their coolers and lunch pals, searching for a bite of lunch.  A neighbor, working the polls, sits down with me to chat.  He is older, and always looking for someone to speak to, we have so often disagreed, in the past, in regard to our neighborhood, that I am suspicious.  But no, he is tired.  He has been up since five, in the morning, and will not finish his day, he fears, until around midnight. 

             Someone else joins us, but has trouble speaking to me, until I mention Israel and Obama’s stance on Jerusalem – it is up for grabs.  The second man’s heart softens a bit.  He has voted for Obama, because we need change and everyone wants more money – hopefully money that we have not earned.  I add the last line, but only in my head.  Repeatedly, those are the words heard in the polling station: Obama is going to do so much for me, and I need it.  If they were saying that Obama is going to help them do so much for themselves, I do not think the words would sting so deeply.  I wonder when we became a nation of people looking for a handout.  I also wonder if the man has used the word preponderance correctly.  I fear the preponderant will of the other side.  The Republicans really are not offering anything for free, for us victory, freedom, and democracy all carry a price tag. 

             I have had my moment of melodrama, maybe just drama.  The scanner became full and stopped working.  The seal was broken and ballots were removed, under the watchful eye of the precinct captain and a very tall, black man, who is well dressed, and wears a button announcing he is a member of a watch group of lawyers who are trying to protect democracy.  The ballots were placed in a plastic tub, and secured with two, red, plastic, numbered tags.  There are a few complaints, from voters, who place their ballots in the machine, without them being scanned.  I call my hot line numbers, and speak with a nice woman, also an attorney, who takes my report.  A half hour later, the machine unloaded, and scanning again, I call back and let the Republican attorney, who I feel must also believe that she is fighting to preserve democracy, that all is well. 

            The late hour rush does not appear.  A poll worker, who is also a neighbor and I must say a hideous soul with scab covered arms, tells another neighbor, whose son has joined the navy that she and I cannot speak.  It is the third time people have been chased away from me – apparently I have conservative cooties.  Is it better to be feared or respected?  I am neither. 

              It is 6:45 the night is almost over.  There has been no last minute rush, just a trickle of voters, including a woman coming in at 6:58, who does not know where she is registered to vote.  She is over 40 years old, and has never voted.  In fact, her registration is still in her maiden name, and she has not been a maid for 12 years.  One of the clerks scrambles to create paperwork, and the woman gets to vote.  I watch her ballot scanned, it was not put into the provisional envelope.  I wonder about what is going on, but there is no point in arguing about this now.  Hers’ is the last vote.  We are done. 

             Outside, Kate has come for me, and neighbors, who walk their dogs, have gathered to chit-chat.  I ask the last voter, why now?  She says, come on you know.  This white, middle aged, house wife, who by her own admission does not understand the ballot, knows nothing about any of the measures, and was not sure if she filled in the ovals correctly has voted for Obama.  But that is not all for now.

            Nour has graciously agreed to host us, once again, as we watch the end of this political season.  We arrive to a hot meal, and FOX.  We eat, we talk, and we talk back to the television.  Michael, Nour’s son, joins us.  This too is Michael’s first election, a college student, who is a theater major, and has endured everyone from his professors to his boss, singing the praises of Obama.  Michael is in incensed.  He does not understand.  Nour and Kate are stoic and shocked.  I see their faces, laden with disbelief, but I have no words of comfort.  I do take comfort in Michael’s emotional outburst.  I cheer him on, but Nour worries that Michael’s impetuousness will create trouble.   I foolishly look at Kate, the only Democrat in the room, and start to say something stupid – Nour stops me, and points out that Kate was the only person, in line, wearing a McCain – Palin T-shirt.  Kate worked so hard on this campaign and she is crushed.   

             Luis has worked late. He spins the numbers for me.  I know he is only trying to make me feel better, but I am grateful.  He says we will once again be able to watch television, because the people in TV land have to make fun of the president, so now we will laugh.  We too are in shock.  Maybe when socialism comes here, we will go to Cuba.  No, Luis does not think the Castro’s are done Obamanizing our parental homeland.  For a few minutes we discuss Puerto Rico, and then go on to what is left of the Red States, but what about the weather?  I think his final suggestion is one of the Carolinas.  We can not believe that Florida has gone for Obama. 

            The party at Nour’s move to his bedroom, with his perfect bed and television – Kate plays on his computer for a bit, she wants to check Proposition 2, which defines marriage and limits Domestic Partnership rights.  Of course, it is winning, and we are not only losing the election, but perhaps healthcare and hospital visitation right . . . well it is a long list, and no one cares.  Nour and Kate play with the idea of calling Nour’s family, in Kuwait – we want a distraction.  I call Caroline, my sister.  Caroline says it is still okay, we have not lost.  We are seconds away from the eleven o’clock hour, and California, where gay marriage will be banned, but liberals will celebrate, as they give Obama his victory. 

            But, Caroline says no, not all of the votes have been counted, and it is not over until McCain concedes.  I hang up with Caroline, and we move back to the living room.  McCain takes the stage.  It is over.  Kate and Nour tell Palin not to cry, from me they excuse it, and Nour graciously and gingerly hands me a tissue.  We have lost in every way imaginable.  FOX is turned off; none of us can endure to hear another word.  It has been a long day and a long struggle. 

            Kate and I walk home with Merry Margaret.  I call Caroline.  Caroline says it is over and I think suggest that we can all move to Alaska – I wonder if we could float Alaska down a bit – I guess I will cheer for global warning.  We get home, and Kate observes that Alaska supported her native daughter – thank God. 

           The sun did rise, and we are inconsolable, but at least we tried.  We went to rallies and speeches and wrote letters and emails, we sent money and bought campaign propaganda, we put up the yard signs and bumper stickers, we made phone calls and more than a few speeches, and we lost.  Another day, I will write about how Democracy persevered, and how grateful we are that there were no riots.  Today, I will thank all of you who have worked tirelessly through this campaign, and who have shown Kate and me so much support; and now offered words of comfort.  Our first phone call, this morning, was Kate’s father, Jim.  He called saying that Mary Lou, his wife, knew that we were going to be devastated, and might need a word of cheer.  She was right.  It is now noon, as I finish up these lines, I have already had my first email, for the Republican Women of Florida, thanking us for our efforts and reminding us that the next Congressional election is only two years away.  Kate has just announced that she is filled with ideas and ready to begin the new fight . . . so that may be all for now.

3 Responses to Archived Post November 2008

  1. […] We first visited the Pentagon Memorial, for those killed on 9-11 in November of 2008, before there was a Public Square. […]

  2. Remembering Nine-Eleven on September 10, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    […] We first visited the Pentagon Memorial, for those killed on 9-11 in November of 2008, before there was a Public Square. […]

  3. […] We first visited the Pentagon Memorial, for those killed on 9-11 in November of 2008, before there was a Public Square. […]

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