very soon, I'll be sharing some photos, video, text, and sound with you from the opening of Tetramurmur: An Immersive Environment in Indiana this past weekend.... plus a bundle of other new work.
but right now, I want to simply say: Please vote today!
yesterday, I spent 3 hours waiting in line with Theo to vote for the first woman president of the USA. the people-watching was pretty remarkable. our South Minneapolis early voting location attracted people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities - and everyone was incredibly patient and kind. volunteers got chairs for those who couldn't stand long. people brought food to each other. kids ran in circles and danced. college students did homework. a Muslim man in nursing scrubs offered up prayers in a corner of the parking lot. as we waited, the sun went down and the sky threatened rain, so the line reorganized itself under a covered area. near the door, someone had written "thank you for caring this much!" on the ground in chalk. many people cheered as they exited the building, having successfully voted, and many people still waiting in line cheered with them.
in addition to absorbing this scene, Theo and I listened on split headphones to the new Radiolab episode, unpacking what a single vote can do. highly recommended, for the reminder and last-minute inspiration!!
and this morning, before I dive into work, I've been catching up on the speeches from last night's final Clinton/Obama rally in Philadelphia. if you haven't had time to check them out, here are a few excerpts of my favorite moments - pointing to the possibility of intelligence, dignity, compassion, and hope in this country's future.
from Michelle Obama:
Thank you for your love. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for welcoming us into your communities with open hearts, for giving us a chance, whether you agreed with our politics or not. Every day, you have inspired us with your courage and your decency. And every day, we have tried to make you proud and live up to the standard of citizenship that you set. Because we know that our words and actions are a reflection to the world of who we are as a nation, and, more importantly, our actions are a reflection of what behavior we hope our children will emulate.
And we believe that our responsibility to you and to this country does not end when we leave the White House. That’s why Barack and I have been working so hard in this election, because we believe that we have a duty to ensure that this country is handed over to a leader that we all can trust -- a leader who takes this job seriously, someone who is truly ready to be Commander-in-Chief on day one. We deserve a leader who will ensure that our daughters are safe and respected -- and that our sons understand that truly strong men are compassionate and kind.
We deserve a leader who sees the dignity and humanity in all of us, and who will encourage us to see the better angels in one another. We deserve a leader who sees our diversity not as a threat, but as a blessing. A leader who sees us not as rich or poor, but as hardworking folks doing the best we can with what we’ve got. A leader who sees us not as Democrats and Republicans, but as neighbors and friends who all love this country, who sees us not just as black or white, immigrants or native-born, but as brothers and sisters who are infinitely worthy, all an important part of this great American story.
And I am here tonight because I believe with all my heart and soul that Hillary Clinton is that leader. And we need to do everything we can to get her elected President of the United States. And here’s the beauty of it all: This election is on us. It is in our hands. If we get out and vote tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will win.
But if we stay home, or we play around with a protest vote, then Hillary’s opponent will win. Period, end of story. Look, it is important to understand that presidential elections are breathtakingly close. They are decided by just five, 10, 15 votes per precinct. So by just taking a few minutes out of your day tomorrow to cast your vote, and bringing your friends and family with you, each of you has the power to swing an entire precinct for Hillary. And if we swing enough precincts we will win this state. We will win this election. And we will continue the progress that we have all made together these past eight years. We will do this. That is the power that you have.
from Barack Obama:
Listen, I know we live in a cynical time. And I know elections and all the negative ads tend to heighten that cynicism. Just last week, a journalist asked me if I still believed the optimism I expressed that night back in Boston 12 years ago -- that we were more than a collection of red and blue states; that there wasn’t a liberal America or a conservative America, a black America or a white America, there was just the United States of America. He asked me if I still held on to the hope of 2008; if I still believed in change. After all, he said, the country is so divided, Hillary is in such a close race with someone who stands in total opposition for all that you’ve ever stood for. Maybe your vision was misguided, he suggested, or at least, very naïve.
And it was a fair question. I had to acknowledge that I hadn’t fully counted on the obstruction we’d see when I first came into office and was to save the economy. I didn’t anticipate the way social media would magnify our divisions and muddy up facts. None of us knew then how deep the Great Recession would cut, and how many people would suffer and how it would make so many people anxious about their futures and their kids’ futures, even after the economy recovered.
But despite all that, I told him, the answer is, yes -- I still believe in hope. I’m still as optimistic as ever about our future. And that’s because of you -- the American people. In my visits to schools and factories, war theaters, national parks, in the letters you’ve written me, in the tears you’ve shed over a lost loved one, I have seen again and again your goodness, and your strength, and your heart.
In 2008, you gave me a chance -- a skinny guy with a funny name. And for these past eight years, I saw how hard you worked in the face of impossible odds. I saw the values you teach your children. I saw the way you treat strangers in need. I’ve seen the young men and women in uniform who meet every mission, and the military families who serve and sacrifice just as well, and the wounded warriors who never, ever quit.
You bet on me all those years ago, and I will always be grateful for the privilege you gave me to serve. But I’ll be honest with you -- I’ve always had the better odds because I’ve always bet on you.
And, America, I’m betting on you one more time. I’m betting that tomorrow, most moms and dads across America won’t cast their vote for someone who denigrates their daughters from the highest office in the land.
I’m betting that most Americans won’t vote for someone who considers minorities and immigrants and people with disabilities as inferior; who considers people who practice different faiths as objects of suspicion.
I’m betting that tomorrow, true conservatives won’t cast their vote for someone with no regard for the Constitution.
I’m betting that young people turn out to vote because your future is at stake. I'm betting that men across this country will have no problem voting for the more qualified candidate who happens to be a woman. I'm betting that African-Americans will vote in big numbers because this journey we’ve been on was never about the color of a President, but the content of his or her character.
I’m betting that America will reject a politics of resentment and a politics of blame, and choose a politics that says we are stronger together. I am betting that tomorrow, you will reject fear and you’ll choose hope. I’m betting that the wisdom and decency and generosity of the American people will once again win the day. And that is a bet I have never, ever lost.
and last but not least (briefly, as the full transcript doesn't seem to be available online yet and I'm running out of time this morning to type it out myself!) - from Hillary Clinton:
Years from today, when your kids and grandkids ask what you did in 2016, when everything was on the line, I want you to be able to say that you did vote. You voted for an inclusive, bighearted, open-minded country -- future -- that will make sure that we keep moving together. Because I do believe that we are stronger together. And you voted for an America where we build bridges, not walls. And maybe, most importantly, you voted in great numbers to demonstrate conclusively, once and for all, that yes, love trumps hate. Let's get out and vote. Let's make history together.
please vote today, if you haven't already. it is just so deeply important.