not throwing away my shot


Here’s the deal, chickadees.

I can’t check election projections any more. I’ve been checking them obsessively for days (weeks, months), and enough, already.

This campaign has been bitter and tough and violent and not our best foot forward.

I’m older than I was on the eve of electing Barack Obama, a great man I feel proud to call my President.

I was 24 and I cared so much about our country then, but in a different way than I do now.

Now I care about that country in a deeply personal way because there are beautiful little people who I am responsible for turning over this nation to one day and I’d like them to think I made it a better place.

I may be a little more cynical than I was 8 years ago. I might heave my shoulders more often and sigh, and worry that this is how people are.

That people truly think that there are American citizens who count less than they do.

But then I lift up my head. And I look around, and I realize I’m surrounded by people who don’t think that.

I’m surrounded by people who know it’s important that we don’t act like demeaning women is acceptable “locker room talk.” That we recognize that making fun of people with disabilities makes you a straight up asshole. That your kids deserve the same education that my kids deserve, because these kids are all our kids.

And they’re going to do great things.

I cannot be cynical, because to be cynical is to be defeated. I’m working the polls tomorrow, and I’ll do it with a smile on my face because I truly believe that I am lucky to be an American.

I think a lot about something Cory Booker wrote (well, something his dad said and he wrote about):

“Boy, don’t you dare walk around this house like you hit a triple, when you were born on third base!”

Like Senator Booker, I feel like I was born on third base. It has nothing to do with what I deserve or how hard I’ve worked, it was sheer dumb luck and I am thankful for it every single day but it’s only luck.

And my fellow citizens who didn’t get so lucky are just as deserving at the same shot I received.

So I voted for the candidate who I think believes that too. Who is going to work to give us all a better shot.

I think she’ll do great.

We will still be divided on Wednesday, even if the election is over.

That’s something I learned over the past eight years, and it’s also okay. My hope is that we recognize this time that our success hinges on our ability to move forward, and not to be stuck in some past version of America where it was acceptable to divide our worth up based on how we looked or where we came from.

I hope you vote, because your voice is silent without it.

America is beautiful, chickens. Even when it’s scary or turbulent or not as we want it to be, it’s ours, and it’s an experiment like this world has never seen before. And there’s no one else I’d rather belong to.



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Filed under Chicago, Politics

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