We talk about change in this country. We talk about wanting it for our sons and daughters, for our future, for the planet.
Me, I want Nate to believe again
In 2004 he discovered politics, energized by the possibility of a Wesley Clark candidacy, urged on by my bleeding heart family, and excited by the prospect of affecting change. The results of the election (don’t get me started on Ohio voter fraud) destroyed not only his enthusiasm, but his confidence in the entire system.
Like a preacher who discovers that there is no God, his faith is gone. He’s angry. Steam-out-of-the-ears furious. But it comes out as cynicism. And our daughters are going to hear that.
Nate doesn’t believe that the system can be changed. He believes all politicians are inherently corrupt and that it’s all just a big meaningless horse race. He’s sure whoever wins it means jack for the country, jack for the world.
But that’s not how I roll.
The Democratic National Convention flickered on the TV in front of me, the volume turned way down. At this moment, Michelle Obama was taking to the stage following an emotional introduction from her mother. We should all be so proud of our daughters, I thought. Whoever it is they grow to become. I was teary.
That’s when Nate decided to enter the room. He turned towards the TV, then turned towards me. And then Nate. Oh, Nate Nate Nate. He rolled his eyes, snorted and harumphed back towards ESPN where I guess the “horse races” are somehow more meaningful?
I won’t apologize for being moved by this candidacy or by the Obamas’ story. I won’t live my life convinced that there is no hope for the future, that there is no candidate so compelling and visionary and hard-working and committed that he can’t change the world. He doesn’t have to be perfect; he just has to be right.
I have to believe. I need to believe.
It’s my greatest hope that I’ll be able to turn to Nate in a few years when things are better, the country I love is commanding respect again, and the good guys are back to doing good things and say–not for the first time by the way–Told ya’
Something tells me he’d be okay with that.