[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
of cabbages and kings
i voted for john kerry. and i am sad that he didn't win. and i feel disheartened and disappointed and several other words that begin with "dis" about the whole darn thing.
but that's not really what i want to say.
what i want to say is why i voted for john kerry.
i voted for john kerry because i don't like what's going on in our country.
it's just that simple.
i think we're getting it all wrong.
and, no, i do not know if john kerry could have gotten it right. but i know that when you keep doing what you've been doing, you keep getting what you've been getting. so, if you don't like what you're getting, you have to try doing something different.
i've always been a political junkie. for a very long time, i wanted to work in politics. i had ambitions of being a spin doctor, as they were once called. or a speechwriter who would write things that would become part of a collective memory.
the day i turned legal, i went with my best friend to the voter's registration office and registered to vote. and when i filled out that card, i registered republican.
that's right. you heard me. i said republican.
what can i say? it was the 80s. it was reagan. it was bret easton ellis and cocaine and bmws and yuppies.
but, over the years, i've changed. for a long time now i've explained to people, "you know, a lot of people get more conservative as they get older...but i think i'm getting more liberal."
but, lately, as i look around, i'm not sure that it's just me that has changed. i think that the nature of partisan politics has changed. and the republican party, as an entity, has changed.
the party i once considered my own seems to me now like my first boyfriend.
everything seemed rosy, but then one day he just turned mean. and self-righteous.
the bottom line for me is that i don't support hate. nor do i support hatemongering. nor do i support judging the personal choices of my fellow human beings using my own morals as the yardstick.
and, quite frankly, i find myself absolutely baffled by why any of that has even become part of politics at all.
i heard it said by many pundits that people in this election voted out of fear. i'm just sure that they meant fear of terrorists.
well, i voted out of fear, too.
i am afraid.
i am afraid of bigots. afraid of homophobes and xenophobes. if the terrorists plan to destroy us from without, then these hatemongers will destroy us from within. pick your poison.
i hear talk that this election was a referendum on "moral values." and i say "whose morals? whose values?"
what is moral about a man who is so judgmental and self-righteous that he would say that gay and lesbian teachers have no place teaching in public schools? that women who live with their boyfriends are unfit to teach because they don't represent "our values"?
and how does such a judgmental and self-righteous man win the majority of the votes in a state in this country in the year 2004 and find himself a us senator?
i am afraid of the ever-blurring line between church and state. stunned by how a man who asserts that our constitution should be amended to require school prayer earns a seat in the united states senate.
i am afraid for the young men and women who are dodging rpgs in iraq in jeeps they have bolstered with sheets of plywood because they don't have any armored vehicles while we're getting $300 checks so that our government can proclaim that it's giving us tax cuts.
i am afraid that we're forgetting that there are things in this world more important than our bank balance. things worth paying for. i'm willing to pay for clean air. clean water. government funding for cancer research. aids education programs to stop the spread of a disease that is destroying an entire continent. necessary equipment for these young men and women to come home alive. take back my $300, please.
i'm afraid of living in a society where the average person is so inundated with warped messages that they get scared into thinking that changing the constitution to ban gay marriage is a more pressing issue than the fact that it's not safe to eat fish in 19 states in this country anymore due to toxic levels of mercury. when did it become more important to get tax cuts than to do what we can to ensure that every man, woman and child in this country can afford the medication they need to live a normal life? when did we stop caring?
i am increasingly afraid to speak my mind for fear of being labelled "anti-american," which boggles the mind when one considers that a fundamental part of being american is a right to free speech.
i am afraid to my core that my supreme court will soon decide that my body is no longer mine.
i am afraid of the devil i know more so than the devil i don't.
i am afraid of who we are becoming as a nation. as a people.
i am afraid of what looks to me to be the erosion of common decency and common sense. the death of tolerance. the end of respectful disagreement.
but maybe what scares me most today is that, yesterday, more of us weren't scared.
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