A text from a new friend, who just so happens to have a high up connection at the university, was waiting for me from the previous night. No biggie, but would I be interested in going to see President Bill Clinton speak on campus on Tuesday with her? Oh, and just to be clear, it wouldn't involve standing in the crowd, but instead, sitting in the VIP area.
Uh, yeah. Put me down. Boom.
Here's where it got tricky in my head. It's no secret among folks who know me that I am a Bernie gal. I still wish that the primary had gone differently, and I have anger and frustration with the DNC and the party for the actions they took to work against him getting the nomination. I have mixed feelings about the direction of the party, looking at it all in the big picture. I long for a more progressive platform, and I'm not sure that the party is going that way. I'm not a hardcore Hillary Clinton backer, truth be told, and I can't deny that I have reservations about her candidacy.
But. Do I even need to say it?
You know how sometimes you have a dream, and when you wake up you realize just how ridiculous the whole story was, but when you were asleep it all seemed quite legitimate? There you were, going along living in some weird house that's clearly not your house, but was totally your house in the dream. You're absolutely cool with a scenario that sees you hanging out with your husband, your child, your high school Chemistry teacher, Brad Pitt, and a potbelly pig. All of that seems totally plausible while you're asleep, and then you wake up and wonder how in the world your brain could have been okay with it all. That's where I am with this entire election cycle.
I'm baffled, flabbergasted, flummoxed, and every other synonym in this vein that we are living in a scenario in which DT and MP are candidates for the highest positions in our government. How is this reality? That is a question that I ask every single time I go online or turn on the radio or TV. It's like a terrible, horrible fucking nightmare from which I'd really, really like to wake.
So, regardless of any reservations I have about Hillary Clinton being our next president, there is no other choice that I see as viable at this point in what is our apparent reality.
Going back to former president Bill Clinton... this is a man for whom I was excited to cast my very first presidential vote in 1996. I had just turned only 17 a few days before he was elected the first time, so I missed that chance, but four years later, I was ready. Unfortunately, it wasn't too long after that election that I became a little more politically aware, and thanks to one college professor, I began to follow along a bit more. The Defense of Marriage Act was a kick in the gut to me, and I wasn't politically savvy enough to understand the whole process, but I hated knowing that Clinton signed it into law.
By the end of his presidency, I was filled with mixed feelings about a whole lot of things regarding his time in office, and those feelings continue to this day. I don't want to hold up any individual to the expectation of perfection, but I do wish that he had-- to borrow a phrase I've used a lot in my life as an early childhood educator-- made better choices. But he was still a president who was successful in many ways, even if he may not have been the greatest of spouses.
All things considered, when presented with a chance to see him speak, how could I say no? I mean, how many chances come along to be in the presence of a former president?
So, I packed all my mixed feelings in my bag and headed to campus where I enjoyed one morning as a legit VIP. My new pal and I chatted for the couple hours we had to wait for the shindig to begin, which was lovely.
And then it was on.
|Watch out, VIPs in the house!|
|Hell, yeah. And I will vote in freaking OHIO, mofos!|
|Hello, Mr. President!|
|the stage set up on a beautiful day in Athens|
|photo credit: Athens Post, picmonkey doodling credit: yours truly|
|two handshakes before mine!|
There you have it. Things may not be exactly as I had hoped they'd be at this point, but I'm prepared to cast my ballot. Seriously, five weeks cannot pass quickly enough.