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Tension

Yesterday, at work, I was sitting at my desk shortly after our weekly interdisciplinary team meeting, and I looked over my shoulder to notice our team social worker organizing some files behind me. Before I could even think about it, I was addressing her.

Hey, Sue. She looked over expectantly.

You following the elections?
I saw her eyes narrow for a minute. There was a pause. We sized each other up. My heart clenched, had I made a mistake? I’ve never heard anyone in our office discuss politics.

Yeaahh, she replied. The word more of a question than a statement.

I gave it a shot. I’m kinda freaked out, I said.

And in an instant I saw her shoulders relax, mine instinctively mimicking hers. And thus commenced a heated and excited conversation about how much we want Obama to win this election and how terrifying we both find Sarah Palin to be.

We sparred back and forth, trying to one up each other on our knowledge of all the reasons it would be a disaster to have Palin end up in the White House. She believes in creationism! She’s opposes gay marriage! She’s not pro-choice! She opposes stem cell research! She’s more conservative than George Bush! She knows nothing about foreign relations!

We couldn’t help exclaiming the horrible message electing her and McCain to office would send to the rest of the world. We couldn’t help expounding on all of our loved ones and friends whom these conservative values would seek to destroy. We couldn’t stop saying how incredible it would be to have Barack Obama as president of this country.

I know I haven’t written about it much here, but I’m politics-obsessed these days. Greg too. It’s all we talk about. All day long we send emails back and forth with our friends, passing links and news bits around, none of us able to get enough of any of it, all of us giving each other headaches but finding ourselves unable to let it go.

I’ve never before felt so passionate about these issues or about an election before. It’s at once thrilling and sickening. But I think I’m literally getting an ulcer from it all. The tension surrounding these issues and conversations is just electric and I’m simply captivated by the unfolding of these campaigns.

6 Comments

  1. Sarah who?

    Comment by Greg on September 12, 2008 at 10:18 am

  2. this is exactly what i’m feeling right now too. the tension is killing me. thankfully my entire office is for obama, so that helps. i’m trying to not even let myself think about what it will be like if he doesn’t win.

    Comment by tina on September 12, 2008 at 10:43 am

  3. I was hoping you’d talk about this at some point. I share your sentiments…and after watching her performance on Charlie Gibson, I feel sick to my stomach. To think that Americans who have been reading newspapers are more informed that a Vice Presidential candidate, is quite literally terrifying. I think we all know bull when we see it, and watching her squirm her way through questions she clearly did not understand, was one of the most tragic and dismaying spectacles I’ve ever seen. God help us.
    P.S Happy Friday

    Comment by Emily on September 12, 2008 at 11:22 am

  4. We can’t stop talking about the election at our house either. The tv at our house is constantly on CNN or MSNBC. During the course of our frequent political discussions, my husband and I decided that she was chosen to be a distraction from the real issues at hand. I personally can’t quite put my finger on what it is about Sarah Palin that bothers me the most, but she seems to be all that anyone talks about lately. Since the moment she was named VP the whole election has all of a sudden became extremely unsettling. As a wife and mother I have fundamental disagreements with her beliefs and I certainly don’t want to see her in a position where she can try to influence this country. I shudder to think of the far-reaching consequences if McCain and Palin are elected. We just hope all of the other voters out there will see her for what she truly is and realize what a mistake it would be to elect her.

    Comment by Wendy on September 12, 2008 at 12:11 pm

  5. You aren’t wrong in worrying about what a message electing McCain and Palin would send to the rest of the world. I’m out here in Australia, one of your best friends in the world, thinking that you really do need a change. If McCain does get elected a lot of people round the world will think ‘last chance busted’ and write the US off. A lost cause. Stuck in the past. Mired in reactionary thinking.
    Sometimes in past elections there has been so little to choose between the policies and the candidates. Not this time. And much of the world is using this as a test to gauge how much the US is capable of change. This election is really important. Get out there and vote!
    Paul

    Comment by Paul on September 13, 2008 at 8:16 am

  6. Glad to know that my readers are on the same page.
    Paul, your comments just chilled me. It’s one of the things I worry about most — what the rest of the world will think of America, if the majority of our country does not vote for Obama. I feel like we’ll just be written off completely.
    I feel so angry that, if that happens, there will be this vast amount of people who will be completely unrepresented in this country. I can literally feel my blood boil when I think about it these days.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on September 15, 2008 at 9:32 am

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