I have a confession to make, which many of you may find shocking. I am not one to beat around the bush, so I will get right to the point. I am not a Republican. I know many of my family may be gobsmacked to hear this news, but I hope you will still welcome me to the table at Thanksgiving now that you know I am (dare I say it?) liberal. On the other hand, I would not call myself a Democrat either. The truth is, I don’t vote for parties – I vote for people, and the issues they espouse.
I am not a fan of the party line in general, and I often wonder if there will ever come a day when I will see a president elected who is not a part of the two-party system. Then again, I am not experienced in politics and many long years of carefully ignoring the political discussions at the family table have probably made me singularly unqualified to discuss it at all. But what’s the point of free speech if you can’t babble on about things you don’t really know? Looking back at our history, one can see that the Democrat and Republican parties did not always exist as they are today. George Washington was an independent. John Adams was a Federalist. Several presidents were members of a party called the “Democratic-Republican” party (can you imagine?). And let’s not forget the “Whigs”. Now honestly, I don’t have a clue what any of these parties believed, or whether I would have agreed with them, but that’s not my point. The first hundred years of politics in America saw several different parties rise and fall. Why, then, have we been stuck with the same two parties since Ulysses S Grant became the first “Republican” president?
But I digress. What I really wanted to say is how proud I was of America last night. I honestly never thought I would see the day when American voters would elect anyone other than a white man to the presidency. Whatever your political beliefs, you have to admit that an amazing thing happened yesterday. Who would have imagined 50 years ago, at a time when segregation was still common practice, that a day would come when an African American man would be elected President. I was definitely impressed by both candidates’ speeches.
Sam Cooke once sang “A Change is Gonna Come”. Well Sam, it’s come. Maybe one day I will get to tell my grandkids that I was there when a woman was elected president, or even live to see America break its long tradition and elect a third party or independent candidate. Okay, so I won’t hold my breath. For now, I will just have to remain hopeful for the future.