Julia Stayed Home; Jane Voted
Julia stayed home this election. Jane voted.
Although the actual results of the 2012 presidential election will be examined for days to come, I would be willing to bet that women's votes showed a dramatic change from 2008.
Julia, living in her government-funded world, couldn't find the enthusiasm to vote for the hand that coddled her. Jane, however, was energized to vote for the hand of freedom.
I first met Jane when I attended a ballot challenge hearing in Atlanta, Georgia. Last spring, I wrote about the challenge to the natural born citizenship of Barack Obama for American Thinker in a series of columns. If you didn't hear about the historic hearing that actually questioned the eligibility of a sitting president, it was because the mainstream media blacked it out.
Jane introduced herself to me as she offered a spot next to her on a bench in the holding area outside the courtroom. I explained to her who I was and what I was doing there, and later, as we sat together at the hearing waiting for it to begin, I asked her: Jane, if you wanted to tell the American people why you were here today, what would you say?
After a few seconds of quiet reflection, Jane answered that she would show me. She pulled out of her purse a wrinkled, dog-eared pocket-sized copy of the Constitution. Inside of it, I could see pencil underlines, hand-written comments, and lots of post-its. After locating the particular sticky note she was looking for, Jane unfolded it and read it to me.
I wish I had written the whole thing down, but as best I can recall, she read something like: "I pledge to do everything I can to learn and understand what is in this Constitution, and do everything in my power to uphold and support it."
Then she smiled and pulled out a snapshot of more than a dozen kids, all lined up in a row from youngest to oldest, that she proudly pointed to and said: "These are my grandchildren. I'm doing this for them."
Jane told me a short version of her life story. Like so many women, her years were filled with days of taking care of her family -- too busy with the details of what was happening inside her home to realize what was happening to the country outside it. It was sometime during the last election, hearing Obama's speeches of hope and change, that she began paying serious attention.
Jane was lovely. She was smart. She encouraged me. She read, over my shoulder, every single word of notes as I jotted them down.
Before the hearing began we were told that it was against the rules to take any pictures or we would be escorted from the room. I heard some cameras clicking anyway, but not mine -- because at heart, I'm a rule-follower and both Jane and I agreed I had traveled too far to risk it. But still, the image of that empty chair at the table for the defense left an indelible image in my mind. At the time, I had no idea how truly symbolic that empty chair would become.
I haven't corresponded with Jane in a while, but I'm sure she voted on Tuesday. She probably made phone calls and volunteered at the polls.
Jane didn't vote because her "lady parts" depended on it, nor like it was her "first time" -- she voted with her mind and her heart like it might be her last. And I don't mean her last time because of her age, but rather as though it might be the last time she felt her vote would count and be counted. She voted like a Mama Grizzly protecting her cubs.
Go, Jane, go. See Obama run.