Generations is a series of across-the-ocean e-mail conversations between 70-something author Stefanie Zweig and 30-something writer Masada Siegel.
From: Masada Siegel
Tue, Nov. 4, 2008 at 11:32 a.m.
To: Stefanie Zweig
Subject: I Voted Today!
I voted today! I get emotional about voting — call me an international/national policy geek — but I feel blessed to be able to vote. There was a time in the USA when women couldn’t vote, and I know all over the world today there are places where people, especially women, can’t vote, so I know it’s a privilege.
What’s wonderful is everyone in my family votes differently. It’s not group think, it’s an individual choice in my family. So many families all vote the same way. My sister and I have a variety of viewpoints, sometimes we vote the same, sometime differently.
Speaking of my sister, Audrey and I had a nice long talk this morning. She’s absolutely wonderful and so great to talk with. She’s kind, logical and pragmatic. She amazes me. I don’t know how she manages to work full-time, cook full-time, be a mom full-time, and even occasionally be able to read two pages of a book before she passes out to sleep. I think my brother-in-law is exceptionally lucky to have married her!
We will see how the election plays out today. Both McCain and Obama have worked really hard, and I am happy to see democracy in action. However, being president of the United States is truly a thankless job. Whoever wins will have a lot of work ahead and will need to pull this country up out of what is looking like a rough next few years economically!
No matter, it’s good to be an American! We’ll see what the future holds — hopefully only wonderful new adventures!
From: Stefanie Zweig
Wed, Nov. 5, 2008 at 12:25 a.m.
To: Masada Siegel
Congratulations on Mr. O. I hope you voted for him. I certainly held thumbs up for him, but I was sure he would win. Good that you take such pride in voting. I take it for natural by this time — though I often say (half-jokingly) that only people should be allowed to vote who are intelligent and well-educated. By the way: Voting isn’t a privilege, it is a duty. Off to my book now. Somebody is coming to steal my time this afternoon and draw a picture of me for a local museum.
Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 9:20 a.m.
From: Masada Siegel
To: Stefanie Zweig
It’s a good morning in America, confirming my belief that I do live in the greatest country in the world, and that if you can dream it, you can make it happen — with a lot of hard work. I wasn’t immediately sold on Obama, especially since I have met Senator McCain and Hillary Clinton over the years of my working in TV news and they both have gone out of their way to be nice to me. (Really, I’m just your average American, so it was always inspirational that world leaders took time to talk, both as a journalist and sometimes just as a person).
Over time, I investigated Obama’s Web site and the more I learned, the more I liked him. I am a little biased, as we both are alumni from Columbia University, and my father is also African.
Great things are in store for America and the world. This election made me think how my actions have been shaped by my own personal history, and how perhaps somewhere in my future I too can have a positive impact on the world.
Obama being elected shows everyone in the USA and the world that their actions should not be taken lightly. Hard work, brains, luck and timing can change the planet.
His acceptance speech was excellent last night, no big surprise. He was smart to set realistic expectations. The USA is in a mess financially, we have two wars, and the rest of the world is looking to expand their own power, so it is no easy task ahead to literally solve the world’s issues.
Mark my words, while the press and the people love Obama now, political coverage always goes on a curve. At first the press loves the candidate for a few years, and I hate to say it, but it also happened with Clinton. There comes a point where the press starts to get rough with politicians and, well, then it is downhill.
Alas, I think too much — it’s time to celebrate a new direction, with a really smart president. While he’s the first African American to become president, I hope in a few days that discussion goes away. It’s time to see the world not in black or white, but in action and deeds, so I hope we get past the color and really see the man!
Enough said! Where is your lovely portrait going to hang? I hope you are smiling for your painting for all eternity to see. No pressure. Heh, heh, heh.