Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Anna and W

My only disappointment concerning Anna’s birth was the fact that George W. Bush was in office the year she was born. We have left her baby books empty on that page, as we’d really like to think that he wasn’t, but the sad reality is that he was, and for eight years, America suffered.

I remember sitting in Applebee’s election night 2004 and all the televisions were on the various news channels monitoring the results. As the results moved towards Bush again, one of the servers walked by our table and did a high five with his coworker and shouted, “Four more years baby!” Now I am not a violent person by nature, but I wanted to pick up a chair, break it over his head and then stab him in the face with a broken chair leg. While some of the most amazing and wonderful things in my life have happened in the past eight years, they are all marred by the fact that Bush was in office.

For many, he is a hero, a misunderestimastood kind of guy who just likes to clear brush and feel up German dignitaries, but for me, he’s a symbol of all that was wrong with America eight years ago. The Culture Wars were starting, and the Gays were tossed under the Evangelical Bus to assist W. in his climb to power. Both 2000 and 2004 saw a variety of ballot initiatives aimed at the Religious Right/Evangelical camp: Gay marriage and Gay adoption being the top two.

The campaigns here in Jackson County witnessed increasingly vicious ads run by the top two Republican contenders, the nastiest ones coming from Rick Baxter, a one term state rep who used his position as a County Commissioner to enact an unnecessary “Defense of Marriage” proclamation here in Jackson several years prior. This got him on the Conservative radar and helped get him elected. Thankfully, he was only one term and was soundly beat by Martin Griffin last election.

For a political group that seems so focused on the family (ahem) their actions were decidedly against LGBT families. Instead of helping families grow, their actions and resolutions hurt LGBT families by restricting benefits and custody of children. But then many of the Republican/Religious Right idols began to fall. I listened with glee as Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, and Larry Craig all met their ironic downfalls. The 2006 midterm election saw a glimmer of hope for the country, as the Republicans and their ilk lost much of their clout and their credibility.

For the past eight years I have been an American, but not proud of that fact. When Obama was elected in November, that all changed. A new chapter in America’s history starts today, our first African-American President. Many of you might not know that Anna is multi-ethnic, so we have been watching this election with an eye not only for America’s future, but for our daughter’s and her mother as well. Anything is possible in America, and today we show the world just how true those words are.

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