Monday, September 15, 2008

Another Day, Another Inner-Conflict...

This election's got me all torn up. There are some times I feel that it's so obvious and so intuitive that Obama is the way to go, but I've gotta remember that we're still people with problems in a system known to screw up even the best of intentions.

Today I went to a five hour meeting for Students for Barack Obama where schools from all over Springfield (and trust me, there are a lot) got their student leaders to talk about tactics, plans, and why we're here. We started by sharing stories for why we're doing this. It's important to do, they told us. There are days when you won't want to go to an event, to wake up and spend more energy in this campaign, to move forward, and thinking of these stories will give you the strength you need to move on. Though it did feel a bit like some of the evangelical assemblies I've gone to in the past, I swallowed my thoughts and moved forward.

I paired off with a fifteen year old kid named Elijah from Nixa, MO. Nixa, by the way, has one of the highest hate crime rates in the state of MO, so I was really, REALLY interested in why a kid who can't even vote decided to volunteer his tireless efforts (he's been working hard on the campaign all summer) to the campaign even though he can't vote. His simple answer, "I really don't like the way the country is going, and even though I can't vote, I can do something. If I don't do what I can, I have no right to complain." Well said, Elijah.

Another girl, actually a good friend of mine, got up and told us of her sister. She used to have a brother-in-law, she said, before the war. You see, her sister got married to this lovely young gentleman and had a baby. In order to help provide for his family, the man went into the military. What he didn't realize is that under the Bush regime, he'd soon be headed to the desert. Where he would die. Leaving behind his new family. Sarah, my friend, is campaigning for her sister and niece.

Another volunteer told us of her daughter, 23, who was recently diagnosed with Lupus. Treatments for Lupus are apparently very expensive, and without health care it is nearly impossible to handle unless you're in the tax bracket that Bush gave cuts to. It isn't a problem for now because the woman's daughter is still on her parents' coverage, but the company will kick her off in three months. Because she was in between jobs when she was diagnosed and now has a pre-existing condition, she can't get her own coverage. The next three months will be a very scary time for this family. This woman needs this election. She gets up every day and campaigns because she needs Barack to win for her daughter's sake.

Even still, I'm reminded of the fact that good intentions are tainted in Washington. The whitest of souls have a tendency of becoming twisted and black before too long. What about Obama? Will he be different? Am I being delusional in thinking that change really could happen? I can't really remember a time when it has...

I'm torn. Do I strive for an ideal, or do I succumb to the seeming impossibility of change and just try to take what I can get? Honestly, I don't think I can afford to give up hope. I just hope change actually happens the way we all need it to.

3 comments:

JustJess said...

Great post, Mark. I am so proud that you are attempting change. We can't dictate who people will become throughout their span in politics, but it is so inspiring that you are still pushing for change. Keep pushing. Maybe someday your beautiful soul will make its way into a place capable of immense political power. And you recognize the purity of heart needed to utilize that power. I am so proud to be related to you. Asking the questions is the first step in changing the direction of things.

JustJess said...

Great post, Mark. I am so proud that you are attempting change. We can't dictate who people will become throughout their span in politics, but it is so inspiring that you are still pushing for change. Keep pushing. Maybe someday your beautiful soul will make its way into a place capable of immense political power. And you recognize the purity of heart needed to utilize that power. I am so proud to be related to you. Asking the questions is the first step in changing the direction of things.

PeterAtLarge said...

Yes, keep working for change. That's the only way it's going to happen in the way you want it to, if you and many people like those you describe keep demanding it and working for it. It won't come without pain and sacrifice--but it's coming whether we like it or not.