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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Let's Stay Together 
in which the citizens stand up for America 


That's me, breathing again.

I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous as hell about this election. It was much closer than it should have been. Women and women's rights were being attacked and compartmentalized by the Right, and yet, too many intelligent women were blindly supporting the Big Red Machine. But in the end, we ladies of America--white, black, hispanic--stood up, stood in line and declared, "Not on our watch, Jackhole! You will NOT send us back to 1950s." And we hit the polls in record number.

Brava, Sistas! Brava!

Now comes the difficult part. Getting both parties in Congress to work together to restore this great nation. To heal, to grow, to embrace ALL who live within its shorelines. As President Obama said in his speech last night, we are all part of the same family. We are stronger together than apart.

"We remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be, the United States of America, and together... we will continue our journey forward." 


I haven't heard him be this dynamic, this inspirational for a long time. Last night, THAT was the Barry who moved people to action back in 2008. Who reached out to the disenfranchised. Who gave us hope again.

Yesterday, my friend and I canvased a nearby neighborhood asking the resident democrats if they had voted, intended to vote or needed a ride to the polls. We were almost finished with our list when we knocked on a door of a woman in her late 50s named Marilyn. She lived with her elderly father. Marilyn had a stroke three years prior. She had come a long way, regaining much of her mobility (with the assistance of a walker) and most of her speech, but she lamented not being able to get to the elementary school to vote. So, we took her.

She was beyond excited.

We had enabled her to perform her civic duty, a duty too many are all too willing to disregard. As we helped her make her way back into her home, I was filled with a sense of community. I felt responsible for her. Protective even.

This is who we are in a democratic society. We help those less fortunate, less strong, less able. Marilyn is a tangible in the fight to retain critical social programs. She is why we must save Social Security and Disability benefits and Medicare. She is who the President is speaking of when he presses for health care reform to prevent insurance companies from withholding benefits from anyone because of a pre-existing condition. She is who we need to fight for, because, honestly, there but for the Grace of God...

It felt good to help Marilyn be part of the process. Damn good. Hopefully, her participation in the election made her feel a little more connected, a little more excited and a whole lot more proud when the celebration confetti cannons went off.

We're all in this thing called life together.

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