So, this is the conversation I can’t have with so many people I know, because I just can’t afford to have that vein start throbbing behind my eye.

The other night, just for shits and giggles, I YouTubed (if that can indeed be a verb) Obama’s speech from the 2004 DNC. Just for the heck of it. I had heard it was great. Fifteen minutes later I was amazed. I had goosebumps. I felt inspired. And that has never happened to me politically. Ever.

The first time I was eligible to vote was the year Bill Clinton was first elected. Going through college, amidst the bliss of not needing to think too hard about the future, I just wasn’t that interested in politics, even though, inexplicably, I minored in political science. And then the Bush thing happened, and like most people I became completely disenfranchised regarding my government.

But now…call it motherhood, call it maturity, call it whatever you want…I care. I care so fucking much about this election that it’s keeping me up at night. As a woman, as a mother, as a good and intelligent person, as an adult who is capable of making my own choice, thankyouverymuch, it just doesn’t compute for me how people think this McCain-Palin ticket is a good idea. You’re entitled to your opinion. I won’t judge you for being Republican. But my mind boggles.

For the first time in so long, I have hope. It sounds cheesy, but I do. I have optimism. I feel as though it’s time for complete change, to hand the reins over to someone young, someone with energy, someone who has good ideas. Someone who can communicate. Someone who also has hope.

Sarah Palin’s politics completely offend me as a woman. I’ve never touted myself as a feminist, but Jesus Christmas. She’s a walking contradiction. Here’s a woman potentially poised to be second-in-command, responsible for the safety and liberty of millions of other women, and her politics will push women backward instead of advancing us. It just irks me that Republicans claim to want less government…except when it involves all those horrible sinful things like, say, choosing to govern your own reproductive processes or wanting to marry the person you love. Separation between church and state doesn’t exist with these people. And that’s fine in your personal life, but not when you want your beliefs to govern me. And the very thought that Hillary Clinton supporters would gravitate to her just because she’s a woman…come on. How insulting.

Plus, she speaks with that horrible backwoods patois and is so completely irritating I would rather rip off my ears than listen to her for more than six seconds. Oy.

And McCain…McCain, McCain, McCain. I give the guy all the credit he’s due as a war prisoner. But he doesn’t make sense. He’s relying on this maverick stuff when by his own admission he voted for Bush’s policies way more often than not. And, frankly, I have to question the judgment of someone who would pick Sarah Palin as a running mate. I know she was picked to energize the party and to appeal to those people who are so right-wing that McCain seems liberal. Shudder. But there are so many other, talented, intelligent, capable, and distinguished women that would have been better candidates.

From this couch, the McCain campaign is dividing people. The Obama camp is trying to unite them. The McCain camp is trying to convince us that a half-black man with an exotic name and background is frightening. Fuck them. I would rather have as my president someone who graduated with honor from the country’s top universities, who has a proven track record of motivating and negotiating, who has chosen as his running mate a man with scads of experience in foreign policy, than a guy who graduated fifth from the bottom of his Naval Academy class who has chosen as his second-in-command a woman who believes the Constitution should be rewritten to ban gay marriage.

So, there you have it. There are twelve days to go. Please vote. Vote for hope. Vote for optimism. Vote for a chance. Please.