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my vote for rev. al

it’s been a weekend full of projects. the coffee soda always helps with that–i don’t normally drink beverages with caffeine (although i have nothing really against them…) so when i do it’s look out world. these are the thrills you get when you are 41 and boring. it’s come down to this.

so i’ll take a break from the furniture reclamation (we found a great hutch top on the street that makes an awesome bookshelf), the making of homemade mozzarella (astonishingly easy, you should try it), the general cleaning (kirk calls it “zipping” because i zip around the house like a maniac) and tell you about the day i voted for rev. al sharpton for president.

to be honest, i have a history of voting for black men for president. i’m for the underdog, being under and a dog myself, and this country needs a black president desparately. although, like i’ve always always said, the first black president (as well as the first woman president) will be a republican. there will be too much baggage for a black democrat or a female democrat to overcome. hillary can just forget about it–it’ll never happen.

i voted twice for rev. jesse jackson when i lived in florida. i know i should think more about separation of church and state and all that, but there’s something about a charismatic man who will stand up and tell it like it is, without pulling punches or being all coy and political. jesse ran the first time against walter mondale. i mean, jesus (no pun intended), how bland can one man be? if you voted for that dude in a primary, you have serious perspective problems. and jesse was all mr. “rainbow coalition”. what bleeding-heart liberal wouldn’t go for that? i sure did. and in 1988 too, i voted for jesse, this time against michael dukakis. dukakis–a reheated mondale. you knew that guy was going to lose the minute he opened his mouth.

don’t get me wrong. i voted for mondale and for dukakis in the general election. i’m not a complete fool. what, i was going to vote for reagan in 1984? although, i must admit with hindsight, the better man won in 1988. bush 1 was not such a bad president, all told. too bad his son won’t listen to him, and instead listens to “a higher father”.

but anyway, the primaries for me are for making my voice heard for the man who i truly think is the best man to represent me and who would do the best job leading the country, all other considerations aside. so in 1992 and 1996, i voted for bill clinton, who was also black.

i broke the pattern in 2000 and voted for gore. and my choice was who else? really.

but i was back to form this year, 2004. i loved howard dean on paper, and wanted him to win the minute i heard he was running. i was even one of those famous early freaks who sent him money via the internet. and then i actually saw him on tv on “meet the press” and i thought, oh my god, no way. this guy is a complete mess. he couldn’t formulate a coherent thought to save his life.

so off i looked. of course, i didn’t have to look far. I was watching the democratic debates, and there’s all the hollow men, headpieces filled with straw, hairsplitting themselves to death trying to answer a question about gay marriage. and then the question came around to rev. al.

and he looked right into the camera, at me, said the perfectly simple and logical thing that it’s nothing less than a civil rights issue and everyone should have it regardless of whatever, and said that gay people should vote for him because he’d be the only person who would represent gay issues at the convention, and he needed the delegates to do it. and, compared to everyone else’s carefully parsed micropositions, he made clear sense on the issue.

sold. i pulled that lever for rev. al sharpton. yes, we still pull levers in new york–the only state where you still do.

and, if you watched the democratic convention in boston, you’ll know that i got my vote’s worth and more. in a week of bland recitations of john kerry’s vietnam record blah blah blah, his was the only speech worth watching. and he stood up and, among a plethora of simple, bold, logical statements, made the simple, bold, logical statement about gay marriage that no one else would make.

best vote i ever cast. really. the first time anyone fulfilled their campaign promise to me 100%.

now, i really am not a single issue voter when it comes right down to the wire. i mean, i voted for kerry and he was a complete sellout on that issue. you can’t tell me that he doesn’t really want gay marriage, but was afraid to say it because of politics.

but in the primaries, that’s the sensible time to make a statement. at least, it’s seemed sensible for me in the past.

in the future, i may just be making more statements in general elections.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] vote my conscience in the primaries…i always do. but it would be nice to see a democrat back in the white […]

  2. […] damn right, and the reason i voted for rev. al in the last presidential primary. […]

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