I'm on pins and needles today.
The husband was up at an ungodly hour, waking the dogs, the baby and little ol' me. Usually, I'm able to go straight back to dreamland once he's gone, but not today. Today's too big and important. My tummy is too queasy, my mind is racing too quickly, and my heart is in my throat.
I can't imagine a single person in my life who would be surprised to discover that I'm an Obama supporter. I am. I want him to win. I need him to win. But many people in my life will probably be surprised to learn why.
I'm going to quit being a democrat.
Barack Obama is the change I need. The change I am hoping will bring me the confidence to take the leap and officially go rogue. Though, now I'm pissed that the word conjures up images of a red suit and glasses. (And that sentence conjures up images of Santa Clause with a machine gun in my head. Hm.)
Okay, maybe that's not entirely true. I suppose the incredible disappointment of a republican win could outrage me enough to take a flying leap to just about any other political affiliation. But flying leaps are much more reckless than simple leaps and I gave up on recklessness a few years ago.
The thing is, changing parties scares me. As an atheist (okay, agnostic by definition) I can only assume that the uncomfortable process is somewhat similar to seeking a new religious affiliation. That is, if there were 2 main religions with a smattering of other options that nobody pays attention to. Which I guess is kinda sorta the case around here when you boil it down. But, as an atheist (agnostic), I digress.
I don't fully identify with ANY party. The reality is, for the next four years, we are either going to have a Republican or Democrat in office. And the four years after that, and probably the four years after that, and possibly much, much longer. When I am forced to choose, I have to go democrat.
Honestly, I really am excited about this Democrat. Old white men have always kind of freaked me out, but that isn't a deciding point for me this time. Joe The Plumber and Joe Six-Pack and Joe Blow and Joe Shmoe can all kiss my butt. There's only one Joe I can truly relate to, and he hearts Obama, so it's all good.
My point is, I'm really not good with change, despite my incredible need for it right now. Obama is the stepping stone to change for me. The step I need, and the step in the direction I would like to see our country take. Because I was taught that America = freedom and, since becoming an inquisitive adult, I haven't felt the type of freedom I was taught to expect.
Someone very important to me once told me that a bit of aging and a bit of money would turn me into a Republican one day. At the time, the thought made me want to puke. A little farther down the line, I found myself wondering if it was true. Maybe it would have been when the Republican Party was a republican party.
I want smaller government, but neither candidate truly offers that. I want more personal freedom, but neither candidate truly offers that, either. Meanwhile, the points I disagree with when it comes to the "little" parties are specific issues. Issues that I am motivated to tackle within myself and within the parties. The basic principles of several fit very neatly into my heart and mind.
So I'm planning my plunge. I am preparing to do what I can to make sure people know that there are other options. An expanded version of "Just Vote", if you will. I have no desire to evangelize. I can't tell people what is right or wrong for them. But I can remind people that they need not be limited to the lesser of two evils. The lesser of THREE (or more) evils enables one to rank their priorities more accurately! ;-)
Right now, my guess is that intelligent voters are already aware that there is politics beyond the elephant and donkey. And I know that many already feel quite purple (or green, or whatever), but fear taking votes away from a "legitimate" candidate. What is a stay-at-home, homeschooling, free-thinking, passionate mom to do? Why, legitimize the existence of the minority and spur growth, of course!
Don't ask me exactly how I'm going to do that just yet. I'm still considering the points of the Libertarian Party, Green Party, and the multiple names of other libertarian groups. It may be hypocritical, but I'm ignoring the smaller splinter groups. Let's be real here. No matter how truly I believe I can change the world, my fabulosity does have its limits! Baby steps and baby changes, people.
I am realistic. I see a future where these parties are true contenders, but it is quite a way off, in my opinion. My intent is to make it my children's future. Because, dammit, they WILL NOT be the first generation to take a step back from their parents' success if I have anything to do with it.
I've got Barack's back for the next 8 years. He does give me hope. He does inspire me. And, no matter what happens tonight, he has proven that people are looking toward the horizon, searching for something big. And I can be a part of that.
In the meantime, I need to go attempt to concentrate on today's school lessons while fighting waves of nervous nausea. I also have to figure out how to address the conversation I had with my 5-year-old this morning:
M "Can we play computer games today?"
Me "Maybe after we get our work done. You know, today is a very exciting day."
M "Is it my gymnastics day?"
Me "No, that's tomorrow. Tonight, we find out who our new president will be!"
M- looking ticked "Oh. I thought it would be more exciting than that. I'll go brush my teeth."
Baby steps must start at home.