As I've written, I have election fatigue. Tony Norman persuaded me that Obama “has this” so I'm sort of lacking in the last minute urgency department, probably b/c I have urgent stuff happening on a personal level and there's only so much urgency to go aroud.
Intellectually, I have some sense of guilt when I pour my way through the 799 million pleas streaming into my inbox and my Facebook account and over the telephone. I know that all of this is important. I try to follow what's happening on the various marriage amendment issues (California, Arizona, Florida, etc). There's an important proposition that would impact gay foster parenting and adoption in Arkansas. I recognize how the intersection of race and class is deeply embedded in the Presidential campaign.
Emotionally, I am just spent. Still, I dutifully read the email messages this morning (Rosie O'Donnell apparently supports Elizabeth Dole but hasn't financially supported the anti-marriage amendment efforts in her home state of Florida?). Then I checked in at the Obama Pride site (see the button in the right hand column) and reread the closing argument.
Yes, government must lead the way on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and our businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But all of us must do our part as parents to turn off the television and read to our children and take responsibility for providing the love and guidance they need. Yes, we can argue and debate our positions passionately, but at this defining moment, all of us must summon the strength and grace to bridge our differences and unite in common effort – black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; Democrat and Republican, young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight, disabled or not.
– Senator Barack Obama
I have to admit that on this particular day the emphasis on a joint individual/systemic response to social problems resonates deeply with me. I struggle with systems every day, both in my personal life and my professional realm. Perhaps that's why I seem a little too invested when the obvious flaws rise to the surface. You would not believe how difficult it has been to access publicly funded senior services for my grandmother — just getting good information was a stroke of luck. Working our way through the patchwork of public and private providers and decision-makers has been traumatic. And exhausting. And I'm just dealing with the paperwork side; my parents are the caretakers — how people do both is beyond me.
It was kind of heartening when the collection lady for the non-Medicare part of her hospital bill responded so nicely when I explained why she didn't have supplemental insurance (government allowing bankruptcies to screw retirees) and that we are spending every dime on in-home care so she doesn't end up in the hospital b/c she really isn't sick. She's just old and needs some help. The woman actually said we are making the right choice with her resources and most people just dump and run in her experience. How sad. But it was nice to have someone recognize that you do have a personal responsibility to take care of your family and sometimes that is a tough, tough thing to do.
I've been talking to my parents until I am blue in the face about the President who will oversee their retirement and ensuing access of services and supports. I hope that what I think will be two Republicans voting for Obama will help. My father will not confirm or deny his vote; he never does.
I'm not feelng much in the way of strength and grace these days. Here's hoping Tuesday brings us all some change.