Friday, May 9, 2008

Obama v. Clinton (at my house)

Things are getting exciting here in Oregon with our upcoming Democratic primary on May 20. We have a vote-by-mail system and our ballots arrived last week. I've already filled in my ballot for nearly all races and measures, will finish it this weekend. Mike will have time to work on his ballot over the weekend, and I'll drop them off at City Hall early next week.

I voted for Barack Obama. Mike is all for Hillary Clinton. The old joke about canceling out one another's votes could be applied to our household, but I don't want to view it that way. My Obama vote will be added to what I hope will be the majority of Oregon's primary voters, and Mike's Clinton vote will make its case for her candidacy.

It may be that Mike and I are a microcosm of Oregon's voting scene, as well as of the country's pending choice. It excites me to be on the brink of what is to come. Having this amazing choice between the first woman and the first black to run for U.S. President makes me so proud of the Democratic party, my life-long political affiliation. It shouldn't be this exhausting, then, to live in my house these days. Mike wonders how I, as a woman, am not supporting Clinton. On other levels, his early years as a registered Republican and having been raised by a racist step-father (who recently retired from the ministry, a whole other issue I'd like to blog about!) make Mike's support of Clinton not only emotional, but at times rabid.

As an interesting aside indicator of what has made each of us tick for decades: in college I took an elective course titled Black American Literature, where one of Mike's elective college courses was titled Womens' Studies. My course broadened my reading. Mike's was a catalyst for his seeing the role of women in society apart from the church's training.

We do respect the other's right to support our own candidate. But Mike enjoys debate, and sometimes what he calls debate seems to me more an invitation to an argument. I need to use these moments as an opportunity to practice defending my view rationally instead of retreating from a heated discussion. Heaven knows, these discussions will only grow in number and intensity before the November election - both in this household and in the nation. Last night I wound up screaming; it was the only way to get his attention and stop his tirade. When I yelled, Get over it! I love the guy and I'm voting for him for President! he paused long enough to actually smile. I prepared Abby and Bonbon for a walk as Mike grabbed his guitar (it soothes him to play). I said, Why don't you play some songs from the Old South? as I left with the dogs. I meant it: come to grips with the totality of this country's patchwork and bless it. When I returned home he had picked out "Dixie" and was playing it beautifully. It gave me an opportunity to share with him that when my fourth grade class learned that song, and each time we sang it in "Music Hour," I cried at my school desk. Why? asked Mike, truly interested. That's what my teacher asked me after class one day. In kid's words I explained to her that the song was beautiful and it made me very sad.

In preparation for the days and months ahead my intentions are to build my yoga practice, get more regular sleep than I've been getting, attempt to be a better listener, breathe deeply, cuddle kitties, read the special books I've purchased recently at Border's, and be more understanding of Mike's fusion of his past belief system with his enormous growth, both politically and personally.


a little bird said...

hi! i just realized you commented on a past blog entry, i am so glad you did! you have a beautiful blog. can't wait to read more about your life and your journey :)


oh, and i LOVE your blog name!

Lydia said...

I was just thinking about your blog title and the darling logo you have as my emails were loading, and there was the copy of your comment from Blogger! Told my husband that I found a special blog last night: yours.

Glad to meet you,

Adam said...

Hey lydia-
Im sorry for not posting for so long. I know that practically the entire world is waiting on tenterhooks for my next blog entry :-)

Im planning a few posts put in as though I wrote them on that day to fill in the gaps :/

I've been ill. But I very much appreciate that you care so much about my blog.
Keep your eyes peeled for the new posts!

PS I feel like this comment had so many idiosyncratic words in it. (keeping eyes peeled? Tenterhooks? ;-)

Lydia said...

Adam, I'm glad to hear from you - and sorry that you've been sick. I hope you are fully well asap. It'll be good to read some posts from you again soon.

deus ex machina said...

just dropped by to greet you. Happy mom's day to you :)

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

It was exciting for me to vote in the democratic primary, especially being in NC.....I too, voted for Obama.....and actually prayed that he would win NC.......I don't know what it is, but I feel we'd be headed for deep trouble if Hillary were to win.....she's got a lot of baggage you know?! She already had a crack at being "president", it's time for a change, as Barack would say :o)
I'm glad Cody (my other half) voted for Obama :)

Lydia said...

You made my day.

Agree 100% with your appraisal of Hillary. Congrats on having a partner voting for Obama also. It would make life a lot less stressful, for sure!
I loved your comments to me at your blog.

Paul said...

Hi Lydia,

I would have voted for Obama too if I am an American. Good choice! :)

I added a link on my website to here. I hope it can bring more readers to your interesting blog.


Lydia said...

Thank you so much, Paul. I followed the link and enjoyed reading numerous interesting posts there. Couldn't find my link, so maybe it will appear after the page refreshes, etc.
I appreciate your interest!



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