Quiet joy; Passionate peace. A time of Change.
Captured for your viewing pleasure is a map of presidential election trends in my state, Arizona. Although all ten of Arizona’s electoral votes went to Sen. McCain, as is required by our system, you will see that this wasn’t a definitive, statewide result. I live approximately where the green arrow is, north of Tucson, which lies in Pima County, the “blue” area at the bottom of the map. Right below us is Mexico. To the left (in more ways than one, hah!) is California, and east of us is New Mexico. Prior to this, I lived in Coconino County, Arizona, at the very top of the state (another “blue” area), in the city of Flagstaff; home to Northern Arizona University and the Grand Canyon.
I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about the relative “redness” and “blueness” of my state. The main, huge population center is Maricopa County, containing the city of Phoenix, and several other large cities. I’m not very politically involved, these days, and particularly not partisan, but I could not let this day go by without making some comment on this amazing and significant event in my nation’s and the world’s history.
I was raised on the tails of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, by people who’d marched in the marches. I’d always attended integrated schools, with children of many backgrounds; not just the “black” and “white” extremes of the spectrum, but many others. To me, kids were just kids…I didn’t “get” the “racial” thing.
In my teens I learned there were areas of my hometown (San Francisco), my country, and the world, that put people into categories based on what they looked like, or what belief system they held, or what reproductive organs they were supposed to have. I still didn’t “get” it.
I voted on Tuesday. As far as possible, being only human, I did not consider race, gender, or religion when deciding who to vote for. I do tend to lean a particular way regarding policy, but I have been known to vote for candidates from the “other” party, too.
I voted the way I voted; my precinct closed. I was glued to the television, as were many of you. I heard the announcement; I heard the speeches. I found both Sen. McCain’s concession speech and President-elect Obama’s amazing speech moving and inspiring. It’s been apparent for a while that Sen. McCain will continue to represent my beautiful state in the U.S. Senate for another two years; longer if reelected. I’m content that he goes back to this work with the support of his home state. I’m also content with the overall result of the election.
I watched the close-up of the Rev. Jesse Jackson as tears formed in his eyes. I wept with him, and felt chills go up and down my spine. I have not always agreed with his politics, but here is a man who was with Dr. King the day he was assassinated; a man who, by attempting to open doors which had been closed to people who superficially resembled him, helped to make this day possible.
My joy is quiet; my peace, passionate. I’m ready for a time of Change.