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some thoughts on the day before the biggest election of our time

By November 3, 2008Politics

Three years ago tomorrow, I went to my midwives’ office for my 35 week maternity wellness appointment only to find that my blood pressure was 260 over 210, and that I had a serious case of preeclampsia.

I was put on this horrid drug – the Mag drip (really just IV Epsom Salts that turned me into a lump of bloated pregnant person – I couldn’t even lift my arms) so that I wouldn’t seize and, well, die. They told me I was not going to leave the hospital without my baby because childbirth is the only cure.

And, even still, as they were wheeling me into my hospital room from the ambulance. I said, “Wait! What’s the date?” Someone said, “Novemeber 4th.”

“I can’t have my baby on November 4th!” I exclaimed. “George Bush was elected on Novemeber 4th!” Seriously, that was my thought in the middle of my life or death situation.  The wounds from the 2004 election were still painful and oozing. And, luckily, she wasn’t born that day. I had Sophie two days later on November 6th.

But, now I’ve been thinking. There’s an outstanding chance that if I had delivered my baby girl on the 4th, I could have said from tomorrow onto forever, that, “Barack Obama was elected on November 4th!” And that would have been an incredible day for a birthday. Just incredible.

Some other random thoughts:

1. Once the election ends, will I still feel the need to ask (directly or indirectly) who people I connect with online and in person voted for? Up to this point, I have been because I want them to know up front what they’ll get in my communications and where I stand…and I don’t want any surprises from them. Or I want to be ready for the conversation.

Also, I saw that Starbucks’ ad – and we can’t only care now. Change will only happen if we stay this engaged – so won’t it be important for me to know who I’m talking to and engage them in further discussion or find ways to work together to make good things happen?

2. What are we going to talk about after the election? And the answer really brings me back to the point above. We need to keep talking about change, we need to stay engaged on the ground and in our communities. We need to ‘act like grownups’ and do our part to make this country and world better. This election will be won in huge part because of the phone calls, the blogs, the conversations, the door to door – the grassroots, community-based work that we have all done.

When this election is over, we will keep working, we’ll pay attention. We won’t just let government do whatever they want. We’ve tried that, going about our daily lives and figuring it was okay because we live in a democracy, and it didn’t work. Now, we’ll have a voice, we’ll use it and we’ll be heard.

Please VOTE!!! Every single vote counts. And, if you have neighbors that might need help going to the polls, please take them with you…we can only make this happen if we work together.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Bella Casa says:

    My birthday is November 4th…and I was soooo disappointed when Hillary Clinton did not win the nomination…because I thought for sure, my birthday present this year would be our first woman president, I was so excited!

    After she lost, it took awhile to warm up to Barack Obama…but now I am not only on the Change Express, but I am one of his biggest cheerleaders as well.

    I have actually reflected alot about him becoming our first African American president and what that means for our great country…and have come to the conclusion that this is actually a much better outcome than having Hillary win, there’s just much more history and meaning and feelings with a President Obama and I for one, can’t wait!!!

    Happy early birthday to your little girl :) :)

    Found your blog from twitter!

    Bella :)

  • Julie Roads says:

    Hi Bella! Welcome…and happy birthday! I have to agree…which is odd, being the feminist that I am…but I don’t think Hilary lost because she’s a woman and it wouldn’t have been as hard for her to win because of it either.

    We’ll get a woman in there asap…I’m not worried…and I’m so ready for President Obama!

    Thanks so much for coming by…hope to see you again soon…LOVE Twitter.

  • Joan says:

    Hi Julie – I’m Deb’s mom :) Deb’s birthday is Nov 6th and as it turned out she got to vote for the first time ON her birthday, in a PRESIDENTIAL election. Neat huh.

  • bklein34 says:

    I’ve had similar thoughts like, “How on earth can this group plan the annual Holiday Boutique on election night?!” I am actually so worried that the pollsters (who have proven themselves somewhat faulty this year) are so off base on this.

    But your point on the Starbucks ad is EXACTLY the big point overall. November 4 is just one day. It’s not crossing the finish line, it’s just the starting gun. It’s what we all do afterwards, and what whatever new administration does afterwards, that will count.

    Truly hope that we will see REAL CHANGE, progressive vision and innovation and international redemption come out of the election results. In other words, VOTE FOR OBAMA!

    But either way, I hope this election does galvanize people on both sides enough for them to recognize the importance of the right to vote.

  • --Deb says:

    I’m partial to November 6th myself, of course, because it’s my birthday, too. But yes, November 4th has a very nice ring to it this year.

    It’s absolutely true, though–change doesn’t happen in one day. It doesn’t happen because of one election. It happens because of what happens AFTER the election.

    It also happens because We the People participated. I DO have a definite opinion as to who I want to win this election (as opposed to the last two Presidential elections when I couldn’t stand/could care less about the candidates). Ultimately, though, it’s important that EVERYBODY vote–regardless of who they vote for. It can’t be a representative government if it’s not representational, and that can only happen if we all speak UP!

    I can’t wait to get to the polls tomorrow…

  • Being an Oregonian, I voted two weeks ago…and am relieved that the wait is almost over.

    I think the most important part of your post, Julie, is your pointing out that voting counts, but it also matters what WE do AFTER the election. We have to show that our engagement can be sustained. Even with an Obama victory, our work doesn’t end tomorrow–it’s only beginning.

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