More on the Fierce Urgency of Now

by francine Hardaway on August 29, 2008

You do not already know how I feel about this one.

Last night, when I saw Barack Obama accept the nomination, I cried. I wanted my father to be there to see this. He was the one who taught me a black person was my equal, and the person who taught me a woman could be anything. He put his money where his mouth was, doing legal work that paved the way for black entertainers to live in the hotels they performed in when in Las Vegas. That took guts; at the time Vegas was run by the mob. He was also the person who sent me all the way through school to get a Ph.D. even though he wanted me to be a lawyer. He didn’t care if I never got married, as long as I was a professional.

As a result, I am the girl from Hope! I always think anything can happen (and to me, it often does.)

But until recently, I was despondent about the direction of the country and worried about how little power I (or anyone like me) had to do anything about the two issues that really bug me: the economy and the war. All this other stuff, it’s commentary. The war takes our young people and makes us look stupid globally, forces us into maneuvers like torture and wiretapping, and strains our resources.

Not that we don’t need to protect the country. It’s just that we need a paradigm shift in how to do it.

And the economy? Well, for me that encompasses all of every day life: gas prices, cost of food, health care, outsourcing, insourcing…everything everyday people worry about, one paycheck away from poverty.

I am a firm believer in the power of entrepreneurship. I have been an entrepreneur for forty years, and I’m still engaged. I take a broad view of entrepreneurship — anyone who assumes responsibility for his own economic survival, whether by starting a business, helping one grow, or taking responsibility for his/her own employability is entrepreneurial to me. That’s how I’ve learned to view it from my travels in India, China, Malaysia, Africa.

I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, so don’t fall back on stereotypes. And I’m not a liberal or a conservative. I’m an independent and I take it issue by issue, election by election.

But I cried last night, and this morning I laughed. I laughed because John McCain, whatever else I think of him, has continued changing the game. Maybe he had to do it, but he did it. Maybe it wasn’t the right woman, but it acknowledged the sea change happening in our country.

America will never be the same after this election, and that makes me very happy. In a lot of ways, we can no longer afford to be the same.

Happy Holiday!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

WebPixie August 29, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Regardless of what happens in November, there is definitely change in the air. Whether it’s a young man of African and American decent, or a young woman from the Great State of Alaska – there will be some sort of change in November.

It’s really not possible to compare a small town (pop. 9000) in Alaska to a small town in the Lower 48. It’s a sad statement of Obama’s naivete, or that of his campaign staff, to make the unfortunate official response that was made to McCain’s choice for a running mate. He’s either not thinking things through before he speaks or he’s putting too much trust in whoever was acting as his press secretary this morning.

I’m not suggesting that micromanaging is a good thing, but we’ve seen the consequences of overdelegating important tasks. During an election campaign, the candidate’s message is THE important task.

This will indeed be a very close race after all.

francine hardaway August 29, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I have never liked this particular spokesperson. I hope he doesn’t last.

Robert E Munn August 29, 2008 at 3:19 pm

I am curious Francine: What significance do you give to the association of Barack Obama and Bill Ayers/Bernadine Dorn?

francine hardaway August 29, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Zip. Robert. Bernadine is my age, and if she has the same energy I do, she’s no threat:-)

Michael R. Bernstein August 29, 2008 at 5:34 pm

“I laughed because John McCain, whatever else I think of him, has continued changing the game.”

Hmm. It’s not as though there haven’t been female VP candidates before…

WebPixie August 29, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Regarding the association of Barack Obama and Bill Ayers/Bernadine Dorn, it seems to me that Barrack Obama was quite young during his association with them. Maybe it’s not all that long ago, but he’s fairly young now. Young people often have no context in which to judge the actions of earlier generations. He strikes me as an independent-thinking individual who would not be inclined to adopt the thinking of anyone who was an adult when he was a child. His thinking, like it is for each of us, comes from his own experience.

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