Of course there was a zero chance that I’d either stay home in 2012 or vote for anyone except Barack Obama. Still, I have been less than excited this time. And promising to vote for him is not quite the same as being “in.” And so, I have deleted emails asking: “Are You In?” When I have been called, I have refused to donate. (Telemarketers, note: I am not taking your calls. And I never donate in response to a phone call anyway. You are wasting your time.)
Besides, it is a stretch to be donating anyway. I must accept that I, like 95% of Americans, am not in the “donor class.” For most Americans, it’s probably foolish to donate to any politicians. Sure, if everyone gave just a little, corporate donations wouldn’t be “necessary,” but that’s a pipe dream. Realistically, we “little guys” can never counterbalance corporate donors. SCOTUS has guaranteed that. What few donations I do make (and they will be precious few) should be to those who don’t disappoint very often. So, I have told myself.
However, it turns out that I surprise even myself. Just recently, I was talking to someone about Obama’s visit to Lebanon, Virginia in the fall of 2008. I talked about the thrill of seeing his helicopter fly overhead as it whisked him away after his speech. Our next president, I thought. Pumped-up and excited about our prospects that November, I cranked up the volume on my car stereo and the exhilaration carried me the 2.5 hours back to the Burg. When I was telling the person about this, I felt nostalgia for 2008, but there was something else I couldn’t put my finger on. Then last week, I heard that President Obama would visit Raleigh, NC again. I hope to yet become a resident of that state one day. Because I have family there, I am in NC for visits pretty often. To ease my eventual transition, I signed up for emails from DPNC. (This is also a sign that any claim that I will forget about politics is pretty flimsy.) But by the time I heard about Obama’s visit to NC State, it was too late to get tickets. Sigh! How was it I didn’t know in time?
Late in the week, after Obama’s visit had passed, I was going through my spam folder. And there was the announcement, which was mailed in time (to get tickets). Double sigh! I really could have been there. A sick feeling overtook me.
And then yesterday (Saturday), in the process of telling my (NC) daughter about all of this, I waxed poetic about the time I had a press pass to cover (for Raising Kaine) that same Obama visit to Lebanon, Virginia in 2008, which I mentioned above. I told her how incredible it was to have the opportunity to see him up close, through the camera lens. He has a gift. He’s a natural, I thought at the time. Still do. After I hung up from talking to my daughter, it hit me. I cannot deny it any more. “I’m in.”
All I can say is look out, progressives, independents, and (yes) Republicans. With all the (real) nut-balls running on the other side this time, and a couple more waiting in the wings, polls notwithstanding, our guy looks better and stronger every day. He’s going to grow on all of you. Before you know it, you too will be in. Say it after me, “You are in.” Not ready? Keep deluding yourself for a while, but….Remember, I told you so. And if you are objective about it, this president has accomplished much for just a little over 1.5 years in office. Much more on this later. Yeh, we need to keep him focused on jobs, not the deficit at this point, and, yeh, cutting the deficit too much will cost jobs. But you know as well as I do, things would be a lot worse if George W. Bush were still president, or if John McCain had won. Things would be so much worse if the TeaPublicans running today were president. And there is not a credible candidate on their side in sight. So, join with us to help make President Obama the most effective president he can be, now and in the future. Our nation faces what would be insurmountable odds for anyone else. But Barack Obama can lead us where we need to go: Out of the doldrums of this stalled economy, out of the virulent morass of politicians who would rather sink our country than do anything constructive, away from those who would let people suffering after natural disasters fend for themselves, and forever away from the warped idea of survival only of the “fittest’ and most powerful. Move us forward with Barack Obama. Come on…You know you are in.