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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Election Time

As odd as it sounds, with each passing day of the 2008 election season, I miss my dad more and more.

He was, without a doubt, my favorite sparring partner, politically speaking. We didn't see eye to eye on A LOT of issues and more often than not our discussions became heated and built up to shouting matches; however, I don't think I've ever spoken as freely with another person as when I talked to my father about politics.

Many of you have heard the story about how I was a registered Republican. I was politically apathetic and never really intended to vote in the first place. Before I turned 18, my dad had told me that he didn't care how or if I voted, but he would like it if I registered as a Republican. So, from 2000 - 2004, that was my party affiliation -- even though I never voted for the party. For a few months, I was even the secretary of the Smith College Republican Club, for some bizarre reason. The president lived in Scales House and heard that I was a registered Republican and asked me to come to a meeting. There were only six of us, so everyone got some kind of officer's title. Needless to say, my heart wasn't exactly in it.

Spring Break 2003, I stayed on campus because I couldn't afford to go anywhere else. I spent my days waxing floors in various houses and dining rooms on campus to earn some extra money and at night I watched CNN and the stories leading up to (and including) the beginning of the Iraq War. The night of the "premiere", I sat on the couch of the Hopkins Co-op with a 12-pack of Killian's Irish Red watching the news in utter disbelief. I suppose you could say this was my political awakening. Still, it wasn't until about a year later that I officially switched party affiliations.

My father wasn't a "life-long" Republican (he was registered as a Democrat for many years) and although he never graduated from college, he was a really well-informed dude. He gathered his information from a very diverse pool of sources and weighted his decisions based on that and his personal beliefs. He was, in many respects, socially conservative; but I would never call him ignorant.

Like I said, I loved hearing his opinions, even when we didn't agree. In 2004, he told me about the keynote speech at the DNC given by (at that time, relatively unknown) Barack Obama. My dad had watched the speech on TV and told me, "That guy is gonna be president some day." I made a mental note of the senator's name. He also foresaw Hilary Clinton running for president.

Four years later, Obama is the presidential candidate for the Democrats. And Hilary Clinton ran for president as well. My dad hated Hilary Clinton...I never really understood/had the chance to ask why.

I keep thinking of things I want to ask him and wondering how he would respond to various things that have taken place during the campaign season. But it's all speculation from my end.

When I saw this video of Colin Powell endorsing Barack Obama and I'd like to think that it'd make my dad smile. He was a big Colin Powell fan and wanted him to run for president.

Oh man, I just know that we could have had some really good conversations about this stuff.

I miss my dad.


katie said...

i remember calling my mom once and asking what she was doing and she said she was waiting to hear obama speak at a rally in phx during the primaries. and she couldn't even vote in the primaries in az because she was an indpendent! i asked her why obama and she said that young people love him and that's what mattered to her.

so, what i'm saying is that i feel you.

The Beech said...
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