I headed out this morning, without my four-legged running companion, and ran to my local polling place. I guess I can say, "I ran for Barack Obama".
I've never been one to wear my candidate on my sleeve (or anywhere else you can place a logo). I appreciate the fact that privacy is an important part of the voting process. The fact that I do not adorn myself with my favorite candidate's name does not mean that I am an apathetic voter. I'm actually as far from that as you can get. I love politics and have loved the campaigning process since I was a kid. I was the only child I knew who would sit through the State of the Union Address in rapt attention.
This campaign challenged my 'right to privacy' notion. We have an Obama/Biden lawn sign which is no small object in this heavily Republican community in which we live where it's not uncommon to pass houses and cars with Confederate Flags and racist bumper stickers proudly displayed. I decided because I felt this wonderful sense of hope when I drive by houses where I see Obama signs. Why not pass on this same sense of hope?
I wondered if I would leave the voting booth with tears in my eyes today. As a black person, I must admit there is this wonderful surge of feeling to be able to vote for a black person for President of the United States. Not just any black person but one who offers substantial and serious plans for leading this country into the 21st Century instead of taking us backwards and away from the original intent of the framers of the constitution and their vision of America.
I felt this tremendous emotion as I thought of my grandmother who died at 102. She was old enough to touch our slave past. She was struck by a truck on her way to work one day. The driver took her to the hospital and left her outside like an animal. The accident left her blind. She never missed a vote. Never. I could feel her in that booth with me today as I cast my ballot. She was one of the most color-blind people I knew. Losing her sight allowed her the freedom to hear a person instead of seeing, so she heard kindness, humor and often- to her amusement- ignorance before she ever knew what color that person was. I doubt even she could imagine the day in which a black man would be a serious candidate for President. I could feel her joy and hear her clap her hands and say "Praise God!"
Go out and vote. Let every voice be heard!