I’m Just Not Impressed

Am I supposed to be?

Posts Tagged ‘elitists

We the People…

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I have to confess that parts of the Obama mega-ad made me cry last night, especially the clip when he was talking about how “all of you have someone in your family who came to America to follow a dream of a better life; maybe they worked in a coal mine, maybe they got hurt” etc. It got me thinking about my grandfather and how he should have died in a rig fire in the Texas oil fields in the late 30s, years before my mother was even born, and how he stayed in Oklahoma because my grandmother refused to leave the family farm when all of his family lived The Grapes of Wrath and caravaned to California to escape the dustbowl.  I remember playing all over what was left of that farm as a child – running through the pasture, riding the occasional calf, playing in “Lucky Rock Creek”, so dubbed my my mother and uncle as children because they found a stash of Lucky Strike cigarette packets there.

So, while I found most of the ad to be somewhat bland and predictable – a nice summation of the campaign and well designed to raise confidence in Obama for the undecideds and to enforce the desire to vote in decided voters – that part really got to me.   As in seriously fighting back sobs and I’m not sure why.  Part of it, I’m sure, is the fact that while I’ve lived on the east coast for twelve years now, I grew up in that mid-western milieu that John McCain romances and Obama was playing too last night.  Born in the Missouri Ozarks, raised in central Illinois, family trips to Oklahoma every year until my mid-teens, visits to my step-mom’s family farm in a tiny Missouri community first populated by her ancestors, detours to Kansas to see the unquestionably small town where my mother grew up.

My mother was the first woman in her family to go to college.  I may be a lawyer, but I don’t come from a family of doctors and lawyers.  I come from oil workers and traveling salesmen and Air Force Sergeants and dairy farmers and homemakers and college dropouts.  I’m the only person in my generation to go to grad school of any type.  I’m the only one to have moved east.  My biological cousins are fundamentalist Christians to the core, as were my grandparents.  I don’t come from John McCain’s elite.  I come from allegedly “real” America.  I am not less of an American because I wanted to follow my dreams of a career.  I am not less of an American because I went to the best school I could get into and afford.  I am not less of an American because I followed a job and in time found one I love.  I am not less of an American because I choose to live near and work in a city.  I am not less of an American because I believe in the words of our Declaration of Independence, that “all [people] are created equal” or the promise of our Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, do hereby ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I memorized those words as an eighth grader at Parkside Junior High School in Normal, Illinois and they are the words that led me to be a lawyer a decade later.  Those are words that I believe in.

Written by emandink

October 30, 2008 at 12:54 pm