November 5, 2008

A Defining Moment Of Change Or: How Arizona Still Doesn't Get It

Yesterday was a great day for our nation.

But for Arizona, it's a different story.

At a time when Americans are looking forward with expectant hope for change, I'm stuck in a state that hopes and expects nothing to change.

At a time when Americans are looking beyond traditional societal barriers towards inclusion, I'm stuck in a state that writes discriminating legislation into our Constitution.

At a time when Americans are looking for creative solutions to complex problems, I'm stuck in a state that elected a hate-mongering sheriff to his 5th term.

At a time when Americans are looking for transparency and accountability from our elected officials, I'm stuck in a state that did not elect one new person to a board of supervisors embattled in controversy and corruption.

Forget red, blue, or purple. I'm living in state blackened with disparaging hate and a sincere lack of any human emotion.

I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to move or run for office.

"If there is anyone out there that still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, that still wonders if the dream of our Founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy; tonight is your answer."
Barack Obama


Zack said...

my feelings exactly

laurie said...

From one perspective, you're "stuck in a state" that is letting you down. From MY perspective, I live in a state that has YOUR voice, your passion, your clarity and your promise. I'm glad you're here, Sam. I have hope to spare. Keep shining.

Micah Schmidt said...

I am living in New York now, but decided to stay registered in AZ for this term because I really did want to see some changes happen there. I am very disappointed, and hope all of my friends living there don't suffer too much.

Erin said...

I feel your pain. I'm living in a state that went one step further than Arizona and gave people the right to marry...and then voted to take it away :-( I'm not pro-gay-marriage or anything, but I am pro-equal-rights and anti-biggotry...and the church and California definitely marred an otherwise awesome night for me last night. I feel ya.

Jesse Allen said...

I would vote for you in a heartbeat, Sam. I'm sorely disappointed with my home district (state legislative district 26), and I fear for the future of our state, even down here in Pima county.

Lewis Cash said...

Move to Oregon.

Anonymous said...

In the words of one of our formerly great state's great former leaders: “I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’” - Arizona Senator, Barry Goldwater

That being said, lets get the fuck out of here.

Brandon K. Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon K. Baker said...

I cannot describe the emotional shift that took place when I saw that Arpaio was re-elected (and by a significant margin at that). I was on cloud nine when McCain conceded and then I checked up on the Maricopa Sheriff's race and my heart fell though the floor. I never thought that I'd live in a world where racial profiling was acceptable, much less approved by my neighbors.

Whatever you do, don't move. Stay. When liberty is threatened, we need people who will stand up to those responsible and doggedly pursue them until they are beaten back. Give voice to the voiceless, strength to the weary, and hope to the poor in spirit.

MLK said it best, "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

Wish I could be there to join the fight

Josh said...

Dude, don't move to the northwest like everyone else. It's good you're an influencer here. I think you'll see some positive stats for AZ if you can find breakdowns by generation.

Sidenote: I got to be all excited for Ohio last night. They really came through. I was nervous people would identify my home state with some fringe people at rallies. Maybe I should move back there.

Krista said...

I am planning on staying here, although I am thinking of moving to a blue county, like Coconino or Pima.
The margins are getting narrower, however.

Jeremy said...

you could put together a referendum. you don't have to move or run for office to get something on the ballot...

Nicholas said...

Thank God! I'm happy that we live in a state that the sheriff is actually following the written law and not following his "emotions"!

When people start following emotion and political correctness is when the law gets thrown out the window for what they "think" is right rather then what is "legally" right.

Every state that had the marriage proposition on their ballot passed by a pretty good margin, including the very blue state of California.

Funny thing is in California, they already had passed a very similar proposition in 2000 with prop 22. But the voice of the many was overthrown in the courts on a technicality. So, again they vote and still surprise, surprise they voted the same way. Will the state actually listen to their citizens this time or again have the attitude that "they know what’s best for their people?"

leathej1 said...

Hang in there - with effort and a cool hand on the reform tiller, we'll get there. As someone who was born into the Nixon-era social conservative fog, even growing up in a rural area, I know now that the dogma can be broken, and that great leaders can inspire us to wake up from our self-imposed exile from social responsibility. Sure, I was cynical for a few decades, but never totally without hope. I'm glad that on the eighth administration since my birth, we finally got it right. I fully expect the reverberations from this recent election to crack and splinter the stranglehold that socially conservative politics has had on many parts of the country. Even in places like Arizona, where a large older demographic resides. Hang in there.

Casey said...

Sam, you have a strong voice in a state "that doesn't get it". You have opened my eyes to how important it is to take ownership of my right to vote. This was my first presidential election and I was truly honored to be a part of such a historic election for this country.

Through this blog alone you reach people all over the globe (I remember the map you showed me). Your voice is heard, Sam. Arizona as a majority may not get it yet, but please don't get discouraged. People like you will be the reason for any change in the future. Your passion is infectious and inspiring. Please don't lose hope.

Aaron Stiner, DRB said...

Sam, I just got off the phone with Barack. He says he needs you to stay in Arizona.

He says you cannot expect all change to happen in one year, or even one election cycle. He is nervous that if you leave now then there will be uncertainty about who will pick up your slack.

He says to keep working hard, keep doing what you do, and good things will happen - for you, for Arizona and for the country.

And, he said to remember your friends - there are a lot of people who feel the same way about these issues as you. They may not be the majority now, but they will be someday. With your help, maybe sooner than you think.

Anyway, you can listen to our next President, or you can bail to Greenland (aka Portland). Lord knows we have all been tempted to do the same and know one would hold it against you.

Just ask yourself though, "WWBD?"

John Spencer said...

I felt let down on election day, as well. It was so hard, because I felt inspired by Obama but I was really depressed about Dictator Joe and about the anti-gay legislation.

On a side note, thanks for talking to my students. The next day, the kids asked if the "hippie guy" was going to become a teacher. If you could connect so easily and engage with 8th graders about politics, you can engage anyone!

Kim said...

Sam Richard For President in 2020, A clear vision for the United States of America.

Tyler Hurst said...

Run for lower office. City Council is where everyone starts. You'd have a ton of support!

I agree with you about this state. This election has solidified my decision to move back to WA state next year. How can so many people be so hateful and stupid?

Candi said...

run for office!

Tiffany said...

you are not alone. run for office.

John Carlisle said...

Hi, Sam. Great blog. I was that dude sitting next to you at Mi Patio last Saturday. (Haha -- random, I know.)

I agree with you wholeheartedly on these points about AZ. I'm from Ohio and moved down here for work, but I'm astonished at how "stuck in the mud" so many people are here with their ideologies. How does gay marriage really affect anyone? Title of a great facebook group: "Against gay marriage? Then don't get one and shut the f*ck up."

By the way, I'm a blogger, too: