Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We went to a political rally yesterday

Yesterday I brought Brandon to a Democratic rally in New Hampshire. It was a small affair for supporters, to get us psyched up about volunteering in the last week. It was free, but by ticket only. Yeah I'm special like that. (OK. really I'm on their email list and I just jumped on the opportunity). Brandon and I have committed to walking door to door in NH to remind supporters to vote.

The keynote speaker was Hillary Clinton. When she walked in the room it was electrifying. I got goosebumps. Isn't it funny what a 180 I've done? Growing up a dittohead, in the conservative camp, where Hillary was (is) vilified as a scary, evil woman. What was her crime? Her crime was sticking her nose into politics while in the unelected position of First Lady. She headed up the healthcare reform proposal. Oh, how my life would be so much better if she had achieved her goal of Universal Healthcare. How many of my friends and patients would not be going without medicine right now if that legislation had passed. But here we are still fighting for it. And I will continue to fight for universal healthcare until it becomes law.

The rally was in half of a high school gym, curtained off, transforming it to a more formal atmosphere. The rally opened with scripture and prayer which I thought was cool. Then the pledge of allegence. Then some motivating speeches about getting out the vote. I was pumped up. If you know me IRL you know how exuberant I can be. Political rallys are exactly my kind of thing. I can hoot and holler all I want. Between speakers they played upbeat music like "It's a beautiful day" and "Aint no stopping us now". I danced in place with Saphira.

I was standing in the back (still only twenty feet from the stage!). Saphira was antsy so I attmepted to breastfeed her and a mother with a young girl asked me if she could help me find a seat, because she wanted me to be comfortable breastfeeding. I was really touched by her show of support, but I declined. Saphira wasn't interested anyway. By the end of the rally, during Hillary Clinton's speech, Saphira had me in the back of the gym, playing with the water fountain. Sigh. The things we mothers do for our kids.

Jean Shaheen is running for Senate. She was onstage with Hillary. We are pumped about taking the majority in Congress too. I was struck, however, at the distinct difference in the stage presence between Jean Shaheen and Hillary Clinton. I guess there really is a certain je ne sais quois that successful politicians have.

Hillary gave an invigerating speech. She pointed out that when Bill Clinton left office the budget was balanced and we had a surpluss. This is a huge issue for me. Economic sensibility is supposed to be a Republican virtue!! But the facts are they are more irresponsible with budgeting than Democrats!! They left me no choice but to leave the party!! (I found this quote online that sums it up for me: "not only have the Republicans played the religious right for suckers, they’ve also played the fiscal conservatives too.") One thing that Hillary said that meant a lot to me was she apologized to the young people for the mess we've been given. And even though, in my opinion, she did everything to prevent this mess, I appreciated that someone recognized what an economic mess my generation has been given. But, like, every generation before us, we take what we're given and we fight the good fight.

And I pass the torch to my son, who has been following me to all these political events, soaking up my knowledge and effervescence, and who will one day form his own political opinion, cast his own vote, and maybe even run for office himself.

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