Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Glimmer in Pennsylvania

i'll admit it. i'm bitter about pennsylvania. it irks me that some people are still small minded. i'm bitter because something really good comes along and some people can't even see that. obama is not your ordinary politician. he's offering a new course for the country. but of course, all the naysayers and the cynics have to tear the obama camp down because where would they be without their cynicism.
anyway, here is an inspiring letter found at

I am writing to tell you about my grandfather in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I read this morning, the dawn of the Pennsylvania primary, an article about the so-called age divide that has pervaded this primary election, with the Clinton campaign cleaning the pre-Internet, pinochle playing, elderly citizens of Pennsylvania and the Obama campaign sweeping the younger voting populations. I do not believe we, the American people, can be so neatly divided.

My grandfather, Frederick, 91, recognized a profound truth in Senator Barack Obama’s message of hope and exercise of change, a truth that for him transcended age, race, and even party lines. My grandfather has been a registered Republican his entire life. Even during these times, when the heavy weight of serious issues is upon us and our President has disheartened even those within his own party, my grandfather has sworn to go to his grave a registered Republican. Today, Frederick, 91, registered Democrat, is voting for Barack Obama.

... I recently watched an ad by the Clinton campaign evoking images of the Great Depression and World War II. These images are meant to remind voters, particularly those who remember and were shaped by those times of the fear and suffering that encompass our existence. My grandfather was raised, in Johnstown, by a widowed mother, of German descent during the Great Depression and served in World War II as an airplane mechanic in Texas and New Mexico. Other images also play in my grandfather’s memory: such as two Johnstown floods and stories of the 1889 Great Johnstown Flood when a young aunt and uncle on a rooftop, perished when the house foundation gave way, or memories of Bethlehem Steel Company closing (after the war he returned to Johnstown to work in the mill for 35 years) and later, along with other retirees, losing his benefits.

Today, my grandfather’s thoughts are on issues that will affect his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: the war in Iraq, the weakening economy, the warming of our planet and our struggling healthcare and educational systems. My grandfather, body aged and bent, has his clear blue eyes focused on today’s horizon. He is no stranger to fear and suffering; yet, he has not surrendered to it. My grandfather is still hopeful. He is hopeful because a man, 44 years younger, is running for president on a platform of hope and change that is as old as this nation. Today, history continues to speak and Barack Obama gives voice to the dreams of our ancestors; dreams that ended the Great Depression, dreams that fought against the fear and divisions that marked the Second World War, dreams that helped a city rebuild after a great flood, and dreams that today can end the war in Iraq, rebuild our economy, and heal our country. It is these dreams, of my grandfather, his mother and his father (who as a young man immigrated to the United States from Germany), and the founding families of this country that will unite the American people to face the great challenges that affect us all: old and young, white and black, Democrat and Republican.

Sincerely, a devoted granddaughter,
Oak Hill, WV