"I don't know if we can change," said one of the other guests at a Biden/Palin debate party. The gathering was a festive affair full of food, laughter, outright guffaws ... and an undercurrent of aghast 'we could be in deep sh*&$#s,' as we watched the very lopsided debate (can you call it a debate if one candidate evades each question to cover up for her dearth of qualifications? See a more thorough critique "The Amateur & The Professional").
"It's just human nature to fight," my fellow guest continued, shaking his head. He'd grown up during Vietnam and remembered "thinking 'this will change!' ...and it didn't." We turned to the TV, sober amid the laughter. A dedicated musician and a lover of people, who wasn't born, like I was, in a liberal town in a state notorious for doing things differently, but in the conservative south, he was typical of the atypical population of the room: someone who'd carved out a full life and community by doing their lives a little differently than the way they may have been raised to do so. While the group was indeed a picture of a portion of the 'middle class' that our candidates have loved to trumpet, it was not the 4-kids and a dual-car-garage kind. The group leaned definitively toward artist and musicians who, while questing toward artistic pursuits perhaps more than certain salary and brood sizes, still had wives, husbands, girlfriends or boyfriends as well as full-time day jobs or businesses that they needed and cared deeply about... you know, all that, AND hopes and dreams for a world with a clean environment, employment, homes, tolerance for all and a life not marred by the threat of war.
While the 'debate' played on—and watching it, I became a real fan of Biden—though I gained inspiration, for change and the possibility of such, as much from the people in the room as from the VP candidate. Those who were managing, and had managed, to be peaceful and celebratory despite very different upbringings and an increasingly uncertain political landscape.
People can change, and it STARTS, rather than ends, now with preparing oneself to vote in this election by educating ourselves about key issues, speaking up where necessary and supporting others to do so.