Tomorrow, you’ll have Holden during the day, along with me, intermittently, as usual. Tena’s a poll worker, and we all wish her well during what promises to be a long-ass day and night. In the late evening Mr. Athenae will be filling in for me, keeping you ravenous beasts in red meat and zinfandel until this thing is decided.
Surfing around tonight, trying to find the words to say exactly what I wanted to say, I found this over at Salon:
I remember volunteering as a teenager for Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 campaign when it came to California. I remember the Vietnam-terrorized kids like me who rushed toward his flame, and the blacks and Latins who swarmed his open car as it drove through their neighborhoods. I remember the waves of desperate hope and yearning that crashed against Bobby’s slight body as he stood in that car, the hands grabbing him and clawing at his clothes, the needy and ecstatic faces beseeching him, Take us out of this national nightmare — only you can do it.
The Bobby Kennedy crusade was terminated before it could get close to the White House. The Kerry campaign has come much further. And yes, it’s become obligatory to note, John Kerry does not have the Kennedy charisma. But there is something deep and resolute about this man, who was returning to America from Vietnam on a Navy ship when he heard Bobby Kennedy had been shot, that commands a loyalty and a faith that he will make America true again to its ideals. And that’s enough to have launched this stunning popular revolution, which I’m convinced the pollsters and pundits still do not fully grasp.
And that’s it, exactly. I have a dear friend who is a great admirer of RFK’s efforts to fight poverty; he can’t talk about it without being overcome. With a typical Gen-Xer’s frustration at my parents’ generation for dreaming big and then selling out and wallowing in fake “Forrest Gump” nostalgia for the way things never were, I’d always envied my more radical friends who lived through those days the courage of their convictions. I envied them the chance to live in a time when those dreams seemed possible.
I get it now. I understand what it was like to feel the world you knew tilt under your feet and slide away, and feel yourself rise to the occasion of building its replacement. Because I look around me now, and I say, “Wait a minute. There’s something … there’s something.”
Nelson Mandela, paraphrasing Marianne Williamson, once said, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Yes, dammit. Yes.