Friday, April 04, 2008

The Florida primary (by Suzie)


         I get irritated when people call the Florida primary "meaningless." Like all elections, it was a snapshot of the voters at a particular time and place. Yes, it's possible that some people would have voted differently if the candidates had been allowed to campaign here, but it's not as if there was a media blackout.
        The primary holds special meaning for me because I accompanied a friend to the polls for the first time.
        I met Rom Delacroix at church. When I heard he worked at the local cancer center, I told him that he was my new best friend. As a patient, I meant that as a joke, but it came to pass. 
         A Parisian, Rom came to the United States in 1987 to work in an intentional community with children who had autism or Down syndrome. He later worked as a bookbinder, cheesemaker and teacher before going to nursing school. He recently became an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP). 
         Rom says he appreciates feminism for raising the status of nurses. 
         In December, he became a U.S. citizen at a moving ceremony with lots of flag-waving. (On a side note: I didn't realize the government still asks people if they have ever belonged to the Communist Party.)  
         "I'd been thinking of becoming a citizen for a long, long time. It was just a question of paperwork," Rom told me today. "But I realized this election was very, very important, and I wanted to vote for my girl, Hillary. It's time for a woman to be president. She has good experience, intelligence and she's a Clinton."
        Voting for the first time "was very orgasmic" but "too quick." He said he wanted to vote for Clinton over and over. Now he's angry that his vote won't count.
         I don't want to make this too partisan. I have close friends who are just as passionate about Obama. It makes sense that those who voted for Clinton want their votes counted because she won, and they might feel differently if she had not. At the time, however, many of us went to the polls thinking that Democrats would sort out this mess.