A Warrior For Love and Hope

I’ve been thinking about my mom this election season, but not for the best of reasons. Her earliest days with Alzheimer’s were spent in front of the television, obsessively watching a different election cycle. Morning until night, she sat in front of that TV, disbelieving that anybody could ever vote for somebody she deemed ridiculously unqualified and a little dangerous. Why couldn’t they see what she saw?

“Mom, for goodness sakes, let it go,” we’d urge her. “Turn it off. You’re not going to change anybody’s mind by watching every detail.”

But I cannot count the times her response has come to mind during this year's terrible campaign: “Somebody has to be a witness,” she said, without moving her eyes from the screen.

Every time I’ve caught myself sinking into a funk in front of the TV, I think of my mother when she was suffering from dementia and bad politics. I feel the obsessive paralysis that comes with disbelief.

But today, I’m holding the better image of my mother in her prime: a warrior for kindness, peace and justice, a believer in human potential, especially her children’s. If she were here, Mom would remind us all to believe in the inherent goodness of all our fellow citizens – even the ones we disagree with, the ones whose politics feel so dark and dangerous. My mother, bless her soul, would be the first in line to cast a ballot, and she would vote for love and hope.

There are many reasons I’m voting for Hillary Clinton, most importantly the impressive qualifications that have gotten short shrift in all the vile rhetoric from the left wing and the right. I’m also voting to stop a man I think is radically dangerous for our country, our world and our globe, worse than any my mother ever saw.  Until today, the fact that Hillary is a woman has been lower on my list, but I will admit to a little shiver this morning, as I get ready to go out and vote. That’s why I’ve put on my mother’s diamond earrings, so I can take her to the polls.

This is for you, Mom, and for all the women who taught us to believe we could be anything, even president of the United States.