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By Caren Z. Turner
February 20, 2008

From the snows of New Hampshire to the shores of Hawaii, our nation is dotted with red, white and blue election signage. Speeding down our interstates one can hardly read the names of the particular candidates, nor their political party. Like the American flag planted on the moon so many decades ago, each sign attempts to claim a small bit of turf in a struggle to lead the American people into the next four years of the 21st century.

Our citizens hunger to “fall in love” with our candidates. We yearn to align ourselves and our future with a candidate whose credentials, character, intelligence, judgment and integrity guarantee not only our safe and successful passage through the next four years. We want a leader who will envision and deliver a thriving America. Indeed, we want a savior.

In an unprecedented cliff hanger, we anxiously await the results of our caucuses and primaries. We await a determination of the role of Michigan and Florida primaries and await the votes of the 796 super delegates. The uncertainty is killing those of us who are closely involved. However, we take solace from the fact that ours is a battle of ideas, words and money. While the money wars have reached unprecedented levels, we are still inspired that ours is a nation rich enough to wage a battle with funds and ideas rather than bloodshed.

In contrast, during the past six months, both Pakistan and Kenya’s efforts to democratically transfer power in an orderly fashion have ended in bloodshed. Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto, one of my personal heroes, (smart, beautiful, first female leader of a Muslim nation) was ruthlessly murdered in the streets. Kenya’s push toward a budding democracy has degraded into an inferno where children who hide in churches are locked inside and burned to death… any escapees are murdered by machetes. In short, the breathtaking vistas of a pink Lake Nakuru, pink from the influx of flamingoes, are now stained red with the bloodshed of the Kikuyus, Luos and Samburu people.

So, despite the “winners” of our election, like the Giants and the Patriots, whose colors are red, white and blue ( the NFL saved money on confetti because the teams had the same colors, according to my 14 year old son) we still see the signs of unity. To an unprecedented level, we hear of Republicans who will vote for Democrats. We hear of Democrats who swear they will vote Republican. If that is all so…., we, as a nation, must be doing something correctly… We will be okay and will all sing Kumbaya on January 20, 2009, in a red, white and blue confetti parade!

For now…. It’s a heck of a rollercoaster ride…!

Caren Z.. Turner


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