Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Audacity of Hope.

I have to admit, he grew on me. It took a long time too. First off, there was the other guy: assertive, direct, with a movie star smile. The other guy was almost too good looking but his mind – wow! He could best every guy in the room with his youthful grin and intellectual prowess. How could I possibly give my heart to the tall skinny guy who seemed almost too conciliatory, too nice. I have always been suspicious of the motives of nice men. I can’t bring myself to believe they aren’t just tricking me.

I took me a long time to face that it was over with the man I had originally chosen. I ignored all the signs and kept hoping that it would work out. It didn’t. It was time to settle. I turned my attention to the skinny guy. I reluctantly acknowledged his funny lines, his quick responses, his sincerity, though I still wasn’t quite sure about him. Someone would compliment him and I would say “yah, but…”

I remember the moment when it started to turn for me: it was when I saw him dancing, oddly enough. He was totally in his body. He was sexy, self-assured but not too full of himself either. He was one with the music and I totally believed him. “Okay,” I thought “time to get to know this guy better.”

Truth be told, I was scared. I have been let down so many times before by so-called nice guys – a promise of something real dangled in front of me only to be snatched away by a moment of dishonesty, compromise or cowardice. At least with the bad boys you know what you‘re getting. Guaranteed heartbreak – no surprises. Bad boys are seductive. They’re primitive and overly macho but absolutely certain about who they are.

Then a couple of days ago came the speech and folks, I was hooked. When he speaks sometimes, that skinny guy grows bigger than this whole wide world. He eloquently addressed the race issue in this country in a way that no presidential candidate has ever done before. He condemned the words of his minister while acknowledging his affection and ties to the pastor and pointing out the complexity that is in all of us. He was honest, direct and real and it showed in every gesture, every eye movement, every beat of his speech. If he were an actor I would have said it was a perfect performance but that’s the thing about him. He’s not an actor. He’s a man. He’s a real, flesh and blood human being. He’s the kind of person you hope will run for President but never does. He’s brilliant but he has a heart. He refuses to use the Democratic playbook and that may be why he’ll pull this off.

I don’t know if he will win but he’s won my heart, which has been broken every four years since I worked for the second McGovern campaign, which has calcified out of fear that my giving my heart to a candidate guarantees that he’ll lose, which still longs to believe in a political figure just one more time.

This is why finally, happily, and with cautious optimism, I am supporting Barack Obama for President.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

let's hope that the 'skinny guy' will win! thank's for articulating this so well. :)

p.s. his books (and books on tape) are amazing! hope you've read (or listened to) them...

elizabeth.weaver said...

I share your fear of supporting him, for if I do, he's bound to fail. I've received virulent e-mails this week attacking him...always right wing people with unsupported suppositions, so I see the fear, the fear of those hating Obama, the fear of people who have also had their hearts broken so terribly they may have closed their hearts for good...but I am hoping there are enough of us to bypass the corruption of paperless ballots and the addition of Rove to McCain's campaign team, to bypass the misappropriation of media channels that increase fear and division and that instead there are enough of us to move this country away from Federalism to Democracy with a President who represents this country in relationship with the rest of the world rather than in contention to, a President who prioritizes citizens rather than financial and political power, a President who strives to fulfill the promise of our Constitution and leaves this country and world a better place.

Christy said...

Carla - I've been silently reading your blog, finding quiet inspiration....but on this I had to finally break my silence.
I am not sure if you remember, but on my email to you back in Jan, I had PS'd that I was voting for Obama. In short, your republican "intervention" finally worked...
Much Love to you...your comments, your stength and your long living and ongoing mentorship to me...