Washington Caucus Precinct 1266
Participating in my precinct caucus -- the first I've ever participated in -- was a study in Jim's favorite topics: relative realities and shifting perspectives.
That is, what we deeply, truly, madly believe to be real ain't necessarily so. And it's all a function of what you bring to the table in terms of age, gender, economic status, life experience, expectation.
After stumbling through the Pledge of Allegiance with these people, feeling solidarity with this group, you observe the mass of people on one side of the room who so earnestly believe that Barack Obama can and will change this nation ... versus the handful of people on the other side who believe that Hillary is our most electable option, flawed, battle-scarred, and maybe jaded as she is.
How can you tell the idealists that you once watched a black and white TV showing the caisson carrying the casket of another presidential idealist? That you once stood in a rally holding a sign that said MCGOVERN? That you had real belief in Howard Dean's fire and impetuosity, right up to the time the media crucified him for The Scream?
How can you convince the convinced that their candidate may not be capable of the miracles he truly believes he will bring to pass -- in terms of bringing the nation together, extricating us from the hell that is Iraq and helping all of us -- including the poor, disenfranchised, the ill, people of color and elderly -- get what they need from their government?
You can't. That's their reality. Even as you have yours. And who's to say they're not right?
You can join them in their hope. And not puncture their utopian balloon before the universe serves them the bitter herb of failure that you've already tasted.
And who's to say that this time it won't work? That miracles can happen. That the United States can regain its heart, its humanity, its dignity ... and rise from the ashes of too many wrong roads taken.
Why not hope?