Letter from a Lifelong Republican
A friend sent this to me today because I’m a pretty vocal Obama booster, and I’m posting it here because I think it’s quite telling as to the broad-based coalition of support that Barack Obama is gathering. [This is written by my friend’s father, a lifelong Republican]:
I went, I saw, I heard, and I’m convinced that Obama is the “real deal” and I believe he’s what our country needs at this juncture. A friend of mine and I rode the bus down to the Plaza de Guadalupe and stood in a line that was blocks long for an hour and a half to get inside the open-air amphitheater. Directly in front of us was a 22-year-old white young guy in the Air Force and directly behind us was a 66-year-old Mexican lady (she doesn’t like to be called Hispanic or Latino) who hasn’t voted in years — until now — but is a retired state employee with a degree in social work. She told us she never thought she would see the day when somebody like Obama was running; she remembers when her father — who was in the military — couldn’t vote because he couldn’t pay the toll tax and she talked about seeing signs as a kid in front of businesses that said “No dogs, no Mexicans.”
Before he even talked to us, Obama talked for awhile to those outside who couldn’t get in. Then inside he talked for maybe half an hour and then took questions from the audience until he had to leave for Houston. He really has a vision to unite people of all backgrounds regardless of political party and impressed me with his command of the issues. When asked for specifics, he laid out 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. as to what he would do.
I found out I can ask for a Democratic ballot in the primary and don’t have to vote Republican. It’s also important to vote again in the caucus that evening.
Anyway it was a long and tiring day as we had to stand almost the whole time, but it probably was a historic opportunity.
On a related note: After reading Dr. Andrew (Andy) Jackson’s “No Chump Change” post this morning, I had to write him a quick email and push back a little bit on this insinuation that Obama’s supporters are a “cult” who are anointing him “the new Messianic hope.”
Andy emailed me right back and invited me to talk on the phone, so we had a good conversation via Skype about why I support Obama and why he supports McCain. It was a good, civil discussion. He said I sounded much more “sane” than the other Obama supporters he sees out there. Fair ’nuff. He’s invited me to write about why I, as an evangelical Christian, am supporting Barack Obama. I’ll post a link here when he puts it up over on his SmartChristian.com blog.
UPDATE: BTW — Did anybody else hear this report on NPR’s “Morning Edition” before the Wisconsin primary? I was shocked at the high number of self-describing Republicans who were pro-Obama. (Wait … Not sure that’s the right clip from NPR, but I don’t have time to research it any more right now. I’ll try to update it when I get a chance …)