…I have drunk it.

I would not call myself a politically-inclined person, by any stretch of the imagination.  I wasn’t raised talking politics around the dinner table (much to Mr. Social’s chagrin), and whenever I talk about anything political that I feel strongly about, I become adamant, tongue-tied and downright inarticulate.  Truth be told, the “political” things that I feel strongly about are things that have been politicized but that are at their core about human rights – a woman’s right to choose to have a child or not, gay marriage, war, etc. (Don’t EVEN get me started on how I feel about the rest of California right now, passing f’ing Prop. 8.  I mean, did we really TAKE AWAY a right?  On our State CONSTITUTION?  Do we need a refresher on Constitutions??)

Nor would I call myself a patriot.  I was raised to be a “citizen of the world” (my parents’ phrase), and until I lived in France my junior year of college never found myself really thinking about my country and what it means to be a citizen of it.  Let’s just say that the upshot of those thinking sessions put me back here in the States, and not in any other part of the world.

I remember, eight years ago, sitting with my roommates glued to the TV on election night.  Going to bed with the thought that the fate of our country (not to mention the vast corners of the world that its influence reaches) rested upon the re-count of Florida’s ballots (what, I ask you, is a CHAD???  I mean, I know now, but why had we never heard of this phenomenon before??) was nerve-racking.  And waking up the next morning to the news that the results had gone in the direction that they did made me downright depressed.

Fast-forward 6.5 years (let’s skip over the ’04 elections and the weak choices therein), and the start of another presidential campaign.  They are always, in my mind, annoying – marketing campaigns rather than forums to tell us what a person is really like and what they are truly capable of.  The dissent within the Democratic party between the two perfectly viable candidates made me even more disgusted by what our political process has become, further weakening an already weakened party and draining me of hope.

So I kind of tuned out.  In this monumentally important election year, I tuned out.  Even though I was terrified of what might happen if…  I just couldn’t deal.  So, not politically-inclined.  More head-in-the-sand inclined.

Then, a couple of days before November 4th, I decided to take things into my own hands (well, really, my head.)  I decided that instead of fretting and feeling powerless, I was going to envision Barack Obama as President Obama.  Positive vibes instead of negative ones and all that hoo-ha.  When I went to the polls, I literally triple-checked that I had cast my vote for president correctly.  When I walked away, I had a lump in my throat that I am chalking up to hope (is there such a thing as desperate hope??)  Then, as I sat glued to the computer (what a difference 8 years makes!) watching the results come in, I felt myself getting lighter and lighter (no, I wasn’t having a cocktail…).  When Mr. Social called to me that McCain had just conceded, I started to cry.  And I have been crying on and off for two days now.  The relief I feel is palpable.  I feel, for the first time in a loooooong time, a sense of national pride.  I believe that this man will make rational choices that benefit the citizens of his, nay, our country.  That he will not hide behind buzzwords like “Homeland Security” and will actually deal with the roots of the issues that have put this country in the situation it is in today.

I am a little in love with Barack Obama, or at least with what he stands for.  Let’s see if this man has the power to make me politically-inclined.

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