YDATL Blog NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
But I'm a Democrat!
O.K. we are suppose to introduce ourselves first so here is my life in a nutshell. My name is Melissa Thompson and I'm your Membership Chair. I'm 31 years old and I just had a birthday on March 3rd. I' hail from Anderson SC where I graduated from T.L. Hanna High. I then moved on to the University of South Carolina where I graduated with an Art History degree. I then moved to Atlanta shortly after that, but had to move back to Anderson due to my Mom's cancer. I then side tracked myself a little more with my mom's death, a marriage and divorce all within a span of three years. Anyway, shortly after my divorce I moved to Atlanta for two reasons. One to get out of Anderson finally and two to move closer to my older sister Carrie. I also have a younger brother named Hal and a little dog named Star. Shortly after the 2004 and election I realized something about myself -- I realized I talk a good game, but I did not have anything to back it up. So on the advice of my best friend I went searching on the web and found the Young Democrats of Atlanta. I went to my first meeting in January 2005 and a year and two months later I'm your Membership Chair. That my friends is basically my life in nutshell.
I just got back from Australia so if my blog seems a little wonkie that is the reason. I was talking to Benson Monday night at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner and I told him that I was a little nervous about me posting a blog every week. He said to me there is nothing to worry about; all I have to do is pick a topic that pisses me off and write about that each week. As I was thinking about that I realized that a lot things tick me off. There is a whole range of topics from a woman's right to choose to why our State Government went after the NASCAR Hall Fame so hard when everyone and their great grandmother knew it was going to go Charlotte, but anyway I digress.
What I wanted to blog about this morning was incident that took place when I was in Sydney waiting for the bus. There I was standing on the corner waiting for the bus to take me down to Manley beach when I approach by a woman who was trying to get signatures for a petition. That petition was having to do with the war in Iraq. I just happen to be wearing my YDAtl T-shirt. (Which I'm sure Justi still has plenty.) This particular woman asked me to sign her petition. I told her that I was an American and I'm not sure how much good my signature will do her, but then she told me if there ever was a person who needed to sign it was me because it was our fault her son was over there in first place. I then told her, but I'm a Democrat! I'm not for the war and President Bush is not really my President, he is the other party's President. You see I don't really claim him. That did not really matter her. The only thing that mattered to her was that I sign her petition to get her son home. I'm not sure what the numbers are for Australian troops, but I guess to that mother numbers do not matter. It only matters that her son is over in Iraq. She didn't get it that I'm Democrat and that I wasn't for the war. To her I was an American and its our President's fault that the Iraq was started in the first place.
She wanted to know what a Democrat was and what the difference was between President Bush and a Democrat. I said ma'am how long do you have? I took the next 30 minutes or so explaining the major differences between being a Democrat and being a Republican. She told me was I on the correct side of politics. Then she asked me what I was doing to stop the Republicans from ruining everything. I told her about the Young Democrats of Atlanta and all the work we do. I said everyday I get up go to work hoping this will be the day that the Democratic Pary turns the corner in the fight to take our State and our Country back. I told her that my friends and I work so hard because we can't give up, we don't know how to give up. I told her that we have an uphill battle ahead of us because we Democrats right now are in the minority, but we Young Democrats are working hard to change that. She then wished me all the best and she promised me that she won't give up on her work there in Australia as long as I did not give up my work here in the US. I also suggested that she and her group keep the pressue on their Prime Minister John Howard. I promised her my Mom did not raise a quitter. Plus I can't, I'm a Democrat, failure is not in our vocabulary.
Needless to say I missed my bus a few times while talking to Matlida, but I think the take away from that conversation is I may be a Democrat, but to people outside of this country that doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot. I'm American first to them and what America is doing in regards to Iraq isn't good. We have not only hurt our allies in leadership positions, but we also have hurt relations with their people as well. How do you explain to a mother in a foreign country that the reason her son is over in Iraq is because our President just doesn't get it? We Democrats also have to keep in mind that we are Americans first and what the Republicans do reflects on us. I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I hate looking bad in front of people I do not know. We have to keep chipping away at the Republican majority in this country because if we don't it won't matter if we take the White House back because by then it could be to late to try to mend the fences that the Bush Administration has severed.