I’m not the type that usually goes to political fundraisers. In fact, I avoid them like the plague. Ditto any calls to my home from political candidates. But the other week, I was at a book launch party for a friend and I met Paulette Cole from ABC Carpet and Home, which is my FAVORITE store ever, and she handed me a flyer for a fundraiser for Obama she was having in two weeks. I just happened to be able to make it.
I spent a week thinking about what I would say in my 30 seconds with him. Here is what I rehearsed in my head: “If you can do one thing to solve the obesity, diabetes, and autism epidemic in America, please stop chemical companies and GMOs and support organic farming.” But after waiting in three different chaotic lines for three hours, I decided to let it go and just go with the flow. Needless to say, the actual moment was surreal and goofy. He was totally charming and funny and warm and thoughtful, and I kicked myself the rest of the night for all the things I did and didn’t say, which shall remain private! Let’s just say there’s a reason he is President. A good reason.
Later, he gave a rousing speech to the crowd. The message that resonated most with me: CHANGE IS HARD. Tell me about it! So many people expect instantaneous correction, not understanding that the forces opposing change are so ingrained for a reason…whether it’s money, philosophical beliefs, or protection of power. My hope is that if he’s elected for a second term he can finally make the truly hard changes that we’ve all been hoping for (Just Label those GMOs!), but had he made them in his first term would likely have prevented his re-election. And he did have a few other problems to deal with: a couple of wars, global economic collapse, and the usual calamities.
Look, here is something I did not tell him. When he was on the cover of Men’s Health magazine and his lovely wife was on the cover of Prevention, we lost a lot of subscribers. We got calls and letters opposing our support of the leader of this country—a leader and his wife who are trying to improve the health of Americans. They aren’t perfect. But are you? I know I’m not! (But whatever happened to the American value of patriotism? Am I going to have to write a blog about that?!)
I might never truly understand politics, or human behavior, but I am very glad I live in a country that gives us choices and freedom, and is based on the founding principles of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”—no matter your race, your gender, your religion, or your version of the American dream.
If we keep on dreaming of a better world, perhaps we can one day create a better world. I still have hope…. And when it comes to our next President, I’m pinning my hopes on Obama.