My mother was a die-hard Democrat, one of those working class, labor Democrats about whom we hear so much. She came of age in the 1950's and had very clear memories of segregation. She lived in Kansas and Missouri her entire life, in primarily white areas in each state. After it became clear that Barack Obama would be the nominee for the Democratic Party, my mother informed me that she intended to vote for John McCain because she did not feel that Obama had the experience necessary to lead the country. I suspected that it had little to do with Obama's experience and, though I wasn't surprised, I was horrified. I went through the issues that I knew were important to her, issues that clearly pointed to a vote for Obama but she held firm. If my mother, a life-long Democrat, was going to vote Republican then I felt there was no hope for Obama. Then, when I visited her in July, she told me that she had changed her mind - she was going to vote for Obama. Though she died two weeks after that conversation, I have taken great comfort in her decision because I know that if my mother was planning to vote for Obama, many people just like her across the country will do the same. I have shed a lot of tears today. I cried when I saw people standing on street corners and bridges waving signs in support of Obama. I cried while reading blogs and watching the news. I am crying because I feel something shifting in this country and I am starting to believe that change is coming. This is the time. Tomorrow, we will elect the next president of this country. Tomorrow, we can choose hope over fear and I can't help but feel that we will and, in doing so, we will make history.
If I am right...if we elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States...I just might wake up on Wednesday and call myself a patriot.