Recently, my mother-in-law was in town, having brought Joe-Henry home from his hedonistic, popsicle and gumdrop fueled frenzy that is a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house. She returned him to us, happy and healthy and except for his desire to get a toy EVERY TIME HE BREATHES IN, pretty much as spoiled as he was when we left him there.
We started discussing politics, which, considering that they've been Republicans for most of their adult lives, not at all painful. For the most part, we're on the same page about things, the main one being that George is the worst president we've ever had. Ever.
My mother-in-law is one of the most passionate feminists I've ever met. I don't always agree with her about that either - having come of age in those heady days just after all the hard battles were won, I can sometimes be a snot about things. But we started talking about Hillary after reading this article by Anna Quindlen. I stated that I thought Hillary was incredibly bright, but I didn't want to vote for her just because she was a woman, if I vote for her I want it to be because she's the right choice.
"Why NOT?! Why not vote for her just because she's a woman? If we don't do it now, when? She's got more experience at running the country than any of her opponents, she has experience with foreign policy from just having been in the White House, and don't you think we need that now? Barack will have his time, but it's not now, he's not ready. She's been in it her whole life, and has risen above all the shit they've flung at her. We need someone with her experience to clean up the mess Bush has made of this country. Besides, Dad listened to you when you begged him not to vote for Bush. Even DAD is going to vote for Hillary!" (Note to my father-in-law: I promise that no one on your city council reads my blog).
It was this last plea that did it for me. "I want to see a Woman President in my lifetime. I think she's my last shot, and she would be amazing."
When I first met them, I was struck by the collection of political buttons they had in a shadow box on their wall. It was heavy on Reagan, and while not entirely absent, noticeably shy of Democrats, so over the years, we've added to their collection. Because I was a snippy little know-it-all, I thought I could peg them just by looking at that little box. I thought I was so much smarter and wiser and politically savvy. But luckily, I've managed to learn from their wisdom, from their passion for service, and their willingness and openness to change. We still have our disagreements, but I'm not so quick to pat myself on the back for being right.
I'm not telling anyone who I'm going to vote for. But Dolores, I'll say this - You've convinced me, but even if you hadn't, I'd still do it for you.