March 8, 2016

We Give In. We Push.

I voted today. For the first time. Ever.

Well, that’s not true. I tried to get an absentee ballot in 2004, but I think my Nader vote got lost somewhere in the mail. But today, I am pretty sure I completed the Global Primary procedure correctly and for the first time, in my life, I was able to see past my cynicism of American politics. I voted!

For the first time in my life there is a candidate who champions my values: equality, diversity, closing the income gap, universal healthcare, concern for the environment, a peaceful and diplomatic foreign policy. I have found an anti-corporate leftist, liberal, progressive, tree hugging, socialist running for the President of the USA.

There is still a long way until in June, and in the back of my mind I am still convinced that there is no way the American ruling class will allow such a candidate represent the American working class. Somehow, Clinton will squirm her way back into the lead and she will most likely be the candidate for the DNC, but for now if I can help Bernie in anyway, I am going to ehlp. And for the first time in my life, I feel empowered that my vote is a step in that direction.

For the first time, I feel a part of the American democratic experience. This feeling of hope and empowerment has to mean something to the progressive movement. It feels like we might actually have a voice in the void created by decades of Reaganesque Neo-Liberal policies that have gutted the American middle class.

I do not feel nearly as strongly about Clinton, and I am not sure if I will vote for her if she becomes the candidate. I most likely will, but it is imprint to state that my vote today was not for the DNC, but for Bernie Sanders and I think there is a difference. Clinton will get my vote because the idea of a Republican presidency is too terrifying, but I am not at all inspired by another four years of Clinton in The White House.

Wow. That cynicism creeps up quickly. This was meant to be a post about joy and hope and empowerment. I voted today because I #feeltheburn. I hope I am scalded by it for months to come. I would love to see Bernie go up against any of the asshats from the GOP. I am hopeful that although America is divided and disillusioned, when push comes to shove, we will prove to be a nation of kindness and compassion, and that we will elect a leader who will try to help the majority Americans instead of blaming our problems on other people.

Happy International Women’s Day to anyone who has had the privilege of knowing, loving, working with, raising, being, or learning from a powerful independent woman. I have been privileged to have known so many such women.

I am thankful for your consistent guidance, your unwavering patience, and unflinching battle for equality. As a man, I know my understanding of my privilege has taken me a lifetime to internalize. I have had to come to terms with my own insecurities to truly empathize with the plight and frustration of not only the women in my life, but all women worldwide.

I have been lucky to learn about women from girlfriends, bosses, teachers, co-workers, friends, students, my children and of course Mairin. I know that I am far from being a worthy son, father, friend or husband, but I am also aware enough to understand that like all education, becoming a useful feminist is a lifelong commitment.

We read, we talk, we teach, we observe, we empathize, we question, we explore, we travel, we apologize, we give in, we push, we are grateful for the opportunity to work toward equality for all.

Reminder to self- Slow down. Breathe. Enjoy the small moments. It will all get done. Get more sleep. Drink more water. Smile. Don’t be so grumpy. Play your guitar more often and set up an open mic, it has been too long. Get back to the novel now that things are settling down. Clean your desk it will help clean your mind.

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