Friday, November 7, 2008

Students' Choices

I heard something on the radio about students gathering around the University of Michigan campus on the night following the presidential election. You’ve got to hear this.
After I heard this bit on the radio today I started thinking about what we all were doing when we were college age. “We” being my cohort that came of age in the late 60’s and early 70’s. But really, we were so appalled by what was happening in Washington that we dropped out. Rather than fight the establishment we just quit. For one thing, it was the easy road. We thought that living an alternative lifestyle would revolutionize the future by example. Oh boy, were we ever wrong. For myself, it never occurred to me that actually JOINING the establishment might make the country a better, safer place. Those in power were, after all, corrupt and mean spirited. Governing was dirty work. I never could understand that old Byrds song, “I Wanna Grow Up to be a Politician.” Dude, that’s the last thing I’d ever want to be.
But my point is that because so many of us dropped out and did not participate in what seemed like a rigged race and a corrupt system, we allowed the vacuum to develop at the top. Nature abhors a vacuum, but lunatics apparently love it. They jumped right in and hijacked reason and integrity. The bad news continued until this day.
I was so cynical and hurt from all the years of disappointment in our elected officials (many of them, not all of them) that I dared not even get my hopes up for victory this year. And yet I am so relieved and happy about the election. I feel like that frozen, frightened place inside can soften and reawaken.
Obama referred to himself as a “mutt” today (in reference to the future White House puppy) and it got me thinking, too. I believe Barack Obama’s very existence is about bringing disparate things into a cohesive whole.

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