Recently, I became friendly with a woman through my job. We were hanging out at a party when I asked her if she was on Facebook. She turned a sharp shade of pink and said, ‘yes’. I asked her why was she looking embarrassed (thinking she felt we were too old to be on Facebook). Instead, she said, “I don’t want you to see who I’m voting for.”
Now, what troubles me about this conversation is this. I don’t want to live in a world where it’s ‘us’ against ‘them’. I don’t want to live in a world where people who vote differently or think differently can’t be friends. We lived in that world for about two hundred years and quite frankly, I prefer sitting at the front of the bus.
I was so disappointed that she assumed I wouldn’t want to be friends with her anymore because she was voting differently than me. And, I recognized that she thinks that way, because people she knows do think that way.
I called her this morning to tell her that I understand how she must be feeling after Tuesday’s results. I’ve worked on losing campaigns. My good friend Ashlie is a yellow-dog Dem from South Carolina. She worked legal aid at Planned Parenthood and she said she was often begged not to tell people what she did at dinner parties. She told me she forgot what it’s like to win. Folks, losing, really really sucks.
I work in a political environ and my entire building was walking on air, giving hugs and high fiving on Wednesday morning. The cop, his building acted like thier dog just died and thier wife had left them. Losing, really really sucks.
Like many of you, I cried Tuesday night and a couple of times on Wednesday. But folks, let’s be gracious, ok? And patient. The election of Barack Obama is not the second coming. It is an opportunity for change and to remind ourselves and the world why America is the greatest country in the world.