Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (3 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   7 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Why I'm a Democrat . . .

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 9/6/12

Chris Lamb is a professor of communication at the College of Charleston.
He is the author of two recent books, The Sound and Fury of Sarah Palin
(FrontLine Press) and Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long
Campaign to Desegregate Baseball.


WHY I'M A DEMOCRAT
I don't know exactly when I became a Democrat but, if there was such a
moment, it may have come early one morning when I was driving a cab in
Knoxville, Tennessee, in late May 1982.

I was standing outside a bus station shortly after midnight with three
other cabbies. Two were middle-aged guys who had probably been driving
cabs for years. The other was younger than me. He wore khakis and an
Izod shirt. He looked like he had taken a wrong turn at fraternity row.

At some point, a woman staggered out of a bar across the street and
began walking toward us. When I noticed her again, I was surprised how
little progress she'd made. I then saw why. She would take a step or two
forward and then one to the side, or maybe backward. I chuckled.

The four of us continued to wait quietly in the fog. The only thing
moving was the woman -- and she was barely moving.

As she crossed the street, she passed under a light, and I saw her face.
Her wild gray hair looked like it had never seen a brush and her
lifeless face was scrunched like an accordion. She had the thumb of her
right hand in her toothless mouth.

She kept coming toward us, two steps forward, one to the side. As she
approached, I became anxious - not scared - but a little anxious. I had
never seen anyone who looked so sad.

I thought she probably knew the older cab drivers and was on her way to
see them. But when she got within 15 or 20 feet, the older guys walked
away, leaving me and the frat guy to deal with her. She stopped about a
foot from us, stared, and then pulled away her hand from her face.

"I've never had a baby," she said quietly.

Those few words tingled my spine and extremities as if I'd just jumped
into an ice-cold lake. I tried to say something but I couldn't.

"I've never had a baby either," the guy in the khakis and Izod shirt
said with a chuckle. "But who needs them? They're nothing but trouble."
I wished I'd said that.

But she continued to stand there, staring. I wanted to walk away but I
couldn't move. Then she spoke again.

"I've always wanted a baby," she said.

This time her voice felt colder; it was even quieter and sadder. Again,
I couldn't say anything. I hoped the other guy would say something.

"Ma'am," he said, "I can't give you a baby. But I can buy you a cup of
coffee."

He then gently took her by the arm and they walked into the bus station.
He bought her more than a cup of coffee; he gave her a cup of humanity.

Thirty years later, I still think about that moment. How can you see
something like that and not be changed?

It was then, I think, when I became a Democrat.

The Democratic Party, when it is at its best, provides a cup of humanity
to those who need it. It feeds those who are hungry. It protects those
who need protecting. It provides hope for those who have lost theirs.
And, by doing so, we are reminded that there, but for the grace of God,
any one of us could be that woman in the darkness.

 

Chris Lamb is a professor of Communication at the College of Charleston, in Charleston, SC, he teaches courses in journalism and media studies. He has written hundreds of newspaper columns that have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What Happens if There's a Fiscal Cliff?: "Human Sacrifice, Dogs and Cats Living Together ... Mass Hysteria!"

Who Needs a Democracy When You Have iVotronic Voting Machines?

The Boston Red Sox, Jackie Robinson, and a Legacy of Racism

Truth Be Damned: Palin Revives 'Death Panels' Claim

Never Go Naked to Knife Fight in South Carolina

When Do You Know If a Stranger Might Be a Pedophile?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
5 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Why are you a Democrat rather than a Republican? O... by Chris Lamb on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 9:40:19 AM
1. Nobody  can ' give a baby'.  to a wom... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 10:15:30 AM
Not a Democrat. I'm a human being that despises bo... by Timothy Gatto on Thursday, Sep 6, 2012 at 7:03:49 PM
Hmm, I have plenty of buddies that are democrats a... by Henry Jackson on Friday, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:06:48 PM
Henry, you need new friends. If you're ever in Cha... by Chris Lamb on Friday, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:18:24 PM
This is the ideal,even if it isn't the reality.At ... by SherryGT on Friday, Sep 7, 2012 at 1:54:21 PM
Nicely put, Sherry.... by Chris Lamb on Friday, Sep 7, 2012 at 2:23:16 PM