Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not Good Enough

This week has been everything I've been waiting for, and more. My nerves were tangled in twisty balls of barbed-wire until I heard the words "Obama has won the election!" from the mouths of my family on Tuesday night.

And what better people to hear the news from.

Even though I had heard so much good, even though I was encouraged by the polls and the analysts, even though my mother assured me, "Carrie they won't win, it will be okay," I was petrified.

I was petrified because so many places I went and so many words I had read told me otherwise. And although I like to think of our nation as one, it made me so very afraid because I felt that we were anything but that in the days before the election.

The negative ads grew worse in those final days and with our state's race for the governor's seat being watched all over the country, my fear increased. With every McCain/Palin sign I passed, my worry increased. When I watched the final debate as Obama stood and let opportunity after opportunity slip by to attack, I wanted to scream, "Let 'em have it! Now is your chance! Give 'em all you got!"

And he did not.

He did give 'em all he had though, and I realize now that by taking the high road, handling each question with grace, thought and dignity, he did take his chance. He did respond and he did do enough. And as the negativity rose, he never wavered. He never changed his responses even in the light of incredible opportunities to do so and it is this part of his character, this part of who he is, intrinsically, as a human being, that makes him already a great leader . . . before he even sits behind that famed desk in the oval office.

But in the afterglow of the celebrating and the crying and the cheering, a part of our freedom, as Americans, was ripped from our grasps, and many of us did not even notice.

When I heard that Proposition 8 had passed there must have been an internal dialogue happening in my head that went something like this: Wait a minute! Was passing a good thing or not? Did passing mean that California upheld the rights already given to legally wed couples or did it mean that they were taken away? I am CONFUSED? Wait! That is not good at all. It was NOT supposed to pass. How? How? How did that happen? How?

As far as we have come in the time I have been breathing the air on this planet (1973 for those of you keeping track) and now this? How can we stand together when clearly we do not stand together?

If I had been born one hundred years earlier, I would not have had a say. I would not have had a voice and I would not have had a vote. I would not have been "allowed" to write these words. I would not have been "allowed" to make choices regarding my health, my body and my mind. I would not have had a choice regarding my education.

This is not one hundred years ago and while we have gone forward on so many, many things the taking away of another human beings right to live, to love and to be protected under the laws that everyone else has is, for lack of a better word, deplorable.

And so I sit, one part of me breathing a sigh of relief that a choice was made regarding our leadership that I believe will make this a better place to live, to love and to raise my children.

And the other part of me shouldering a grief that I cannot even express.

Things have got to change.

Cheri at Blog This Mom! has a wonderful post up as well, complete with links to show your support and other ways to get involved in your own communities! Check it out!

The United States of Motherhood also has a great post up too! Please, share, love, support as much as you can. We will make a difference!

And now, I don't feel so alone.


Nora Bee said...

Well said. You know, I was so elated by the election that I didn't really process the prop 8 thing until recently. And it is shocking, on so many levels.

Mel said...

Yes. YES. They absolutely do have to change. I can't even begin to think about what they've done in California. It breaks my heart. It just breaks my heart.

OHmommy said...

I know. I agree.

It is taking two steps forward and one back. What is up California?

susan said...

Things WILL change, I believe that with all of my heart. It's just going to take longer than it should.

painted maypole said...

yes. elation and grief.

my hubby was pretty upset that Obama didn't attack back, but I really, REALLY love that he didn't. And I LOVE that it actually worked.

Kimmylyn said...

I believe in my heart it will change. It has too. Love it Love regardless.

John Wahl said...

Hopefully JObama can push us in a positve direction and maybe clean up our image around the world. He has certainly taken away the excuses for a lot of people out there already. We need a spark, we need to be proud to be Americans. We need to wake up and care about each other.

Kellan said...

It will happen. All things happen in their time and this - for some reason - just was not the time, but ... it will happen. Look at who we elected for our President!!

Take care, Carrie - Kellan

Grey Street said...

Right on sister! I've been posting and posting on my myspace page. I can't believe Prop 8 passed. It's just, well, ludicrous.

Please GO HERE:

It will show you a local location for protesting Prop 8 THIS SATURDAY.

Also, I just watched Iron Jawed Angels yesterday for the first time. It was an HBO movie about the Woman's Suffrage Movement, but it totally reminded me of the gay marriage movement today. It's a good movie to watch if you're local rental place has it. I got it on NetFlix.

Scout's Honor said...

You know my feelings, my friend.


While I might not have voted for
Obama, I can applaud how honorably he ran his campaign. It's surprising to me though that so few of his supporters realize that he also believes marriage is between one man and one woman.

Sigh. We have a long way to go, but as I pledged in my post, we need to fight the bigotry behind prop. 8.

Thanks for Stumbling my post. As promised, I stumbled you back. :)

Let's show the internetz how many people on a national level find prop. 8 repugnant.We've got to say no more. Religious beliefs and rights cannot trump civil liberties. My gay friends have every right to pursue their happiness and protect their assets and children as any of us do. I believe the religious and gay citizens can coexist. We must educate others that it is possible. I know we can do it.

We must create a national momentum against propositions like prop. 8. History has shown where California goes, the rest of the nation follows.

People, let's start stumbling, redditing, digging, and whatever tools we have to get the momentum going.

Julienne said...

I too was proud of Obama for taking the high road. There were so many things he could have used as ammunition, but he chose to win on his terms and I think all the more of him for that.

As for California...I am a Californian and am disgusted by the Yes on 8 vote. It doesn't seem possible that we had come so far in the federal election and then voted to RESTRICT RIGHTS in our state election. In areas that were voting liberal on everything, they voted yes on 8. This was due mainly to a vicious and false campaign that the Yes on 8 supporters ran. They got their votes based on fear and that just saddens me even more. But the fight is far from over! I refuse to allow the 18,000 people married over the last 4 months to have their rights violated. We just have to keep pushing forward...

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

It will change.

We the people must change it.

I posted about Prop 8 today.

Anonymous said...

Cousin, you are not alone. I was so excited last Tuesday night, and then so saddened when I heard the Prop 8 news on Wednesday. To think that two of my closest friends can't have what you and I can, after 15 years together, makes me hurt.

I love you and thank you for your words.

Christy said...

You expressed that mix of emotions so perfectly. I felt exactly the same way--except even though I was scared to death that McCain might win the election (and can you believe the LANDSLIDE? WOO!), I was sure that Prop 8 wouldn't stand a chance. I was shocked that it passed. We need to find a better way to deal with fear than to take people's rights to be who they are away.

Jen said...

I have a theory about Prop 8. I think that people got confused and voted for it because they thought that meant they were for allowing gay marriage. If that is the case, that is just so sad.

I can relate to your feelings of being worried about the election. I still can't believe it actually happened. Hopefully now we can try to heal ourselves as a country.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It really is all anyone around here is talking about. This will not stand.

jen said...

it was such a mixed bag - pure elation combined with deep shame that a state (my state) that claims to be progressive can do such a dumbshit, hateful thing.