Because when the Iraq War began, my little sister was in high school. She’ll graduate college this spring.
Because my little brother is of draft age.
Because there’s a picture on my bulletin board of my cousin’s husband in uniform, and I want him to stay home and safe for her.
Because Congress can have my grandmother’s Social Security when they pry it from my cold dead hands.
Because my mother took me to church and I took all that “you shall not side with the great against the powerless” stuff seriously.
Because my parents’ retirement should be secure.
Because in the second grade I, the whitest girl in the history of Caucasia, played Harriet Tubman in a school play and never got over her heroism.
Because my high school English teacher should be paid like a star running back.
Because the circle should be unbroken.
Because Obama went down to Harvey and told those scumbag politicians to stop lying and cheating and stealing.
Because I went to Denver.
Because you all did, too.
Because there’s a school within walking distance that needs textbooks, and a new boiler, and patches for the holes in the roof. Because I can see from here neighborhoods that are like demilitarized zones. Because our cities need rebuilding with American steel, with American hands.
Because it’s my right, and people have died for it.
Because John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln did die for it.
Because it will make me feel good for the rest of the week, of the year, of President Obama’s term.
Because John F. Kerry would have been an extraordinary president.
Because Al Gore would have been an extraordinary president.
Because George McGovern and Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale would have been extraordinary presidents.
Because Hillary Clinton said, quoting Harriet Tubman, “Keep going.”
Because Chris Dodd said, “If I did not stand here today my conscience would not let me rest.”
Because Howard Dean said “YEAAAAARRGH.”
Because of all of you in the Crack Van.
Because of my two beautiful goddaughters, who need a world that lives up to their strength and grace.
Because it’s the job in front of me today.
Because we get back up.