Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Igniting Hope

Yesterday after school, Dani came home and asked, "Hey Mom, would you consider letting me skip school tomorrow and going to Dallas with a bunch of kids from my school?"

"Uh, NO," I answered immediately. "Why on earth do you wanna go to Dallas?"
"Obama is speaking at a rally."
"WELL. I'd consider letting you go, but only if I can come too!"

I've had a hard time figuring out for the last decade just "what I am". I'm not really Republican - I'm too liberal. But I'm not really a Democrat, either; I'm too conservative. Today, I figured it out: I'm Obamican.

Seriously, and I know this sounds completely programmed, but I'm ready for change. And I know this sounds completely rhetorical, but Obama inspires HOPE within me FOR that change.

I've known that Obama is an amazing speaker, so I was excited to experience that for myself. But what I was really interested in is what I HAVEN'T heard much of: what his plans are, what his ideas involve, and how he thinks he can make it all happen.

Dani and I and 3 friends (including another Mom) arrived at Reunion Arena in Dallas at 9:30. Already, the line snaked around and around and around the building, onto the lawn, and throughout the parking garage. We worried that we wouldn't gain entrance to the rally. Instead, after 2.5 hours in line, we scored seats directly behind the podium in the lower level. The fire department closed the doors when the arena reached capacity (17,000 people), and various reports have stated that 1000 people were left outside, unable to get in.

The energy was dynamic; you could FEEL the waves of electricity in the air. I sat back and watched the crowd, so very diverse, as old women and young men high-fived, as business people in suits and inner city kids in bagging pants mingled, as middle class Moms traded cameras with upper class spectators. And I felt the movement. I became PART of it. YES WE CAN. YES WE CAN. YES WE CAN.

I clapped my hands and waved my arms during Kool and the Gang's "Celebration". I mentally noted Eric Clapton's "Change the World" and thought, "That'll be the title of my page when I scrapbook this event. I danced my feet off during "Unwritten", which is one of my favorite songs anyway, but which I will now always associate with today's rally. And I felt the movement.

I rose to my feet when he spoke of college tuition assistance, involving students "giving back" with community service in exchange for college money. I cheered when he promised to "take away tax breaks from companies that are shipping jobs overseas". I pumped my arms when he said he'd find a way to keep the minimum raise on par with inflation. And I felt the movement.

But it was THIS statement that clinched it for me: after a moderate paragraph or five that highlighted the differences between him and Clinton, he said, "But you're not here because of what you're against. You're here because you have hope."

“There is a moment in the life of every generation when that spirit of hope has to shine through,” Mr. Obama said. “This is our moment. This is our time."

I'm making it official tomorrow, when I vote early.

I not only feel the movement.

I'm becoming part of it.

-----

You can see Dani and me in a photo here. (photo #13)

I'd buy it for the scrapbook, but the Dallas Morning News wants THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS for it, and I don't have that kind of scratch. lol! (We're near the bottom left - I'm wearing a pink blouse over a black tank. Dani and one of her friends are sitting on the ground.)

Here are some of the photos that Dani took:



16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THIS!!! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I am very excited about Obama too and actually donated to his campaign a few weeks ago...I've never donated money to a politician before.

What a great experience for you and Dani to share and remember forever! Great job, Mom! :)

Alli

Kendra said...

You must save some money to buy that picture!!!

Sounds like you had an amazing time.

I'm alot like you politically and just don't fit in one of the party labels.

Hope I can find inspiration and hope in a candidate before November.

favpastime said...

Have you see this You Tube music video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZHou18Cdk&NR=1

favpastime said...

the rest was cut off in my comment
Cdk&NR=1

or search Yes We Can on You Tube

favpastime said...

Add your photos to this amazing video.

http://www.hopeactchange.com/

Shannon said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, Stacy! This is exactly how I feel about Obama as well. I am an independant; there is too much about both parties that I don't like to be able to actually join one of them. But Obama seems different. He inspires me. He makes me believe that we CAN make positive changes in this country! This is the first candidate that I've ever been able to be EXCITED about!

So, go keep spreading the word, girl! We are all watching Texas closely! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about something. Are you aware that Obama was voted most liberal senator for 2007 by the National Journal (http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/)? If you're not liberal enough to be a democrat and too liberal to be a republican, how does your stance compute with his ranking?

Theona

He obviously has a lot of charisma and a lot of people like what he has to say (including a number of my relatives), but I have to wonder about what is coming down the road after the election if he is elected.

Disney Scrapper said...

Funny, those are some of the same things that helped me make up my mind about him.

Dawn said...

Welcome to the Obamican party! Being he's from Illinois I've gotten to see and hear lots of him since we elected him as a state senator years ago. He's brought people together and done great things for Illinois. I just read an interview in People last night, "25 questions with Barack Obama" I believe, where he states that the first piece of legislation he'd like to sign is healthcare for all Americans.

Stacy K said...

Theona,

Socially, I lean liberal.
Fiscally, I lean conservative.

Obama is more liberal than I am, that's true. But for the Primary, my mind is made up. I feel peaceful about my decision, and until yesterday, I had struggled a lot internally about it.

Jason & Summer said...

Stacy, I KNEW there had to be someone there that we knew! Check out my blog, I just wrote about it too. I too am voting for Obama in the primaries and am so excited that our vote counts this year in Texas!!

agent713 said...

As a Canadian I am not quite as emotionally involved in all this but I do find it fascinating. I love that you've decided where you stand and who you can support. That is awesome.

And great job on letting Dani skip school. You'll never regret that.

Christy said...

Oh Stacy- I am jealous. I would love to see him. I too am excited to see what will happen with this election.

Ramblings of a crazed SAHM said...

Oh I am SO JEALOUS! I get chills every time I hear him, and all the people who say "It's just words" I tell them think about Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr... words are powerful, and their words (and action behind the words) changed our world. He gets me tingly when ever I hear him speak. Our son, Theo, runs through the house saying, "Go BAHMA!" Love it!

Lee said...

Obamican. Perfect! Good for you for letting Dani go ... and going with her! You're the best ;)

Joni said...

Other than his socialist leanings, he's a fine man, with a fine education and a gift for public speaking.

It's good to see someone get excited about their candidate, but I recommend that you look at his stance on abortion and then make up your mind.

In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. That same year a similar federal law, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, was signed by President Bush. Only 15 members of the U.S. House opposed it, and it passed the Senate unanimously on a voice vote.

NARAL Pro-Choice America released a statement that said, “Consistent with our position last year, NARAL does not oppose passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act ... floor debate served to clarify the bill’s intent and assure us that it is not targeted at Roe v. Wade or a woman’s right to choose.”

But Obama voted against this bill in the Illinois senate and killed it in committee. Twice, the Induced Infant Liability Act came up in the Judiciary Committee on which he served. At its first reading he voted “present.” At the second he voted “no.”

I'm sorry, but I have to speak up for the babies. It's one thing to be pro-choice, but it is a whole other thing to say that a little baby who is tough enough to survive abortion is afforded NO PROTECTION under the law in his eyes and he backs that up with his vote.

I think it says alot about his character to be to the left of NARAL on this issue!

I want someone who sees the helpless as worth protecting.

Joni-MI