Diversity = Obama Mamas + Hockey Moms

diversityThe mood at my university staff meeting (about 100 people) was so jubilant on Wednesday morning that it was hard for people to settle down and focus on the formal agenda. People were too busy comparing notes and trading opinions about the election. How long did you wait in line to vote? Did you stay up to hear the news that Obama won? What did you think of his speech? Did you watch McCain’s concession? How did the students react? (Word was that students poured out of their dorms once the presidential race was called and reveled with more enthusiasm than when the school’s team made the Final Four.)

At one point, I stepped back and wondered how my colleagues who voted for McCain were feeling at that moment. Did they dare voice their disappointment in such a pro-Obama crowd (amidst their bosses and colleagues, no less)? Did they feel alienated or devalued as the vocal and partisan majority went on and on and on about the election? What would have been the reaction if they did speak up and express their regret? Would their feelings have been viewed as “sour grapes” or even ridiculed?

I would hope not. Group-think – even when I agree with it – scares me.

Because if our country is to truly unite, it needs to begin with us. I want to believe that we can hear others’ dissatisfaction with the election results as legitimate differences in opinions. That we can be gracious winners despite the heated rhetoric over the last 18 months. That Obama Mamas can find common ground with Hockey Moms so we all can work together to deal with the tough issues that still exist, regardless of who is president.

To that end, I invite anyone who’s unhappy with the election results to leave a comment. Let us know your concerns and your reactions.

I have to believe there are some Wise Women out there who, sensing the pro-Obama tone of our blog, decided this was not a safe place to express pro-McCain sentiments or reservations about Obama.

But, embracing diversity means hearing from and accepting people who view the world differently. Give us a chance to “walk the talk” of bipartisanship and prove that all are valued in this UNITED States of America.

Comments

  • Cindy L Says:
    11-6-2008 12:28:51

    What a great idea, great post, Elaine. I was an Obama supporter from Day One, but got up extra early Wednesday morning to remove my Obama signs from the lawn. I live in a McCain-Palin neighborhood, and didn’t want to offend my neighbors by leaving the signs up. One of my Republican neighbors ran for a local office — and narrowly won — so I ran out that day to buy a bunch of “Congrats” balloons and left them on his porch. We are all working toward healing and unity.


  • Stacy Says:
    11-6-2008 12:39:55

    Your “group-think” statement is very thought provoking. It has been on my mind since I first read it earlier this morning. Very interesting, thank you.


  • Leanne Says:
    11-6-2008 13:54:58

    I had a colleague suggest that Barack should take out an ad in all the big newspaper that states that the supporters should take off their bumper stickers and take down their signs because we are ALL Americans working towards the common cause of fixing the problems of the country.


  • Anne Says:
    11-6-2008 14:44:38

    I would love, too, to hear how McCain supporters are feeling right now. McCain’s concession speech was excellent – and McCain to the core, the McCain of a year ago and before. Unfortunately I believe his handlers these past few months got in the way and led him a bit off course. But it’s more than obvious that he’s a good, decent man at heart.

    The nation has certainly gotten swept up this week in the excitement of the historical significance of this election, as well as the hope that this change brings. I’ve heard some McCain supporters call into talk shows, and despite their loss, they seem to be glad that it’s over, and optimistic about the country moving forward.

    Any more thoughts out there?


  • Cindy Hampel Says:
    11-7-2008 12:11:57

    Great thread, Elaine. I hope McCain supporters will join this thread. I’m hopeful that the tone Obama is setting is a good example to us all. I think part of the problem for the last 28 years (starting with the Reagan era) was a radical us-versus-them mentality that saw the world in terms of either/or and demonized those with a different opinion. We have Obama Moms AND Hockey Moms AND Every Other Kind of Mom in America.

    I hope that by refusing to get personal with McCain and by winning graciously and humbly, Obama is a showing a wonderful example of what being Liberal is all about.


  • Stacy Says:
    11-7-2008 12:55:31

    If you want to hear a McCain supporter, Ari Fleischer is speaking at the library in Pound Ridge, NY this Sunday.


  • Amy V Says:
    11-23-2008 10:39:38

    I am fortunate enough to have friends who are not the same color, ethnicity, religion, sexual, and political orientation as me. One of my most admired friends is a single mother and african american. We disagree quite often about many things, through this relationship I have truly learned the value of diversity, and to listen how other people feel and to persevere in a friendship. She and I often-as one of my favorite artists puts it-”just agree to disagree”.
    P.s. I voted for McCain.


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