Friday, July 29, 2016

When I was little, I imagined being many, many things when I grew up, but being president of the United States was not one of them. Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan . . . these were the figureheads of my childhood. A bundle of fist clenchers and jowl shakers. A pack of old-man trading cards.

This year I voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary. Another old-man for the pack of trading cards, yes, but I like progressives, and I wondered what would happen if enough of us tried to have a voice. And interesting things did happen, but that is a story for another day. Because he was beaten by a woman.

A woman!

I did not expect to be so moved by this, so incredulous. After all, I grew up thinking that presidents were the most boring people on earth. I imagined being Dickens, or Menuhin, or Keats, or Baldwin. I did not imagine being Gerald Ford.

But a woman! This morning I feel, for some reason, ten feet tall. Look! One of us! Look!

I keep reminding myself, "Surely you would not feel the same if Sarah Palin were in this position. What's with this happiness? You didn't even vote for Clinton."

What I am imagining is the joy of the Grimke sisters, of Lucretia Mott, of Susan B. Anthony, of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Anti-suffragette postcard, 1925


Peg said...

One of my favorite stories this week has been the report of thank-you notes and I Voted stickers being left at Susan B. Anthony's grave:

Dawn Potter said...

I agree, Peg: those photos of SBA's grave are extremely moving.