Polling data means nothing to me unless it's seasoned with anecdotes from the field. Over the past week I've noticed that everybody has a story about someone who is supporting Obama that they never thought would vote for him. These stories are so interesting to me. They entertain me. And, I believe they are the evidence that a true cultural shift is happening right before our very eyes. I heard a tale at breakfast that I loved and decided to share it with you guys and brighten your day.
I have two political friends whom I see once a week during campaign season. They are both white men, in their mid-60s. They are both former elected officials (Democrats) who represented fairly conservative Democratic districts. I have always been far more liberal than both of them but we are all good friends and I admire and respect them both.
As this election season has worn on I've watched them both move deeper and deeper into Obama's camp. They started out supporting Obama as the Democratic nominee but they've moved into whole-hearted support--they are true believers.
One of the men told a story this morning about his 95 year old father. He started the story by explaining his father's view of the world. His father was raised in a segregated and racist environment. My friend always believed that his father had a good heart and harbored no animosity or hatred against people of other races but he was known to make 'inappropriate' statements. My friend was determined to get his father's vote for Obama but frankly was unsure if he would be successful.
His father seldom gets out anymore so last week-end he went and visited him to help him with his absentee ballot. They talked about family items and then my friend said 'Dad, do you want to just vote a straight Democratic ticket?' My scheming friend thought he'd get his dad's commitment and vote that way and avoid a direct conversation about Obama. Dad readily agreed to an all Democratic selection and then paused, looking worried and slightly confused. 'Uh-oh' my friend thought. His dad said 'That's fine but just make sure you vote for that colored boy.'
Obama will change our country because he is changing people's hearts.
In an effort to really annoy the Diary Police, this is my obligatory acknowledgment that you all have sent me to the Rec List for the first time. My smart-ass tone notwithstanding, I appreciate your kindness.