On this Fathers Day, I think back on my own father. Dad to me, Gray to his family, The Gray Fox to many. He would be 98 years old today if he had lived beyond his 81st birthday. I still miss him.
He was a lifelong Socialist and Pacifist, and (I now know) an Aspergerian. I have all of that DNA.
I feel that I have found a new father figure in Don Berwick, even though we are the same age. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, a time of prosperity and social awareness. Flower Power, feminism, and the Civil Rights movement. I was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and I was a Conscientious Objector (and have the draft card to prove it).
Somehow, all of that went away. Many candidates have won my heart over the past few years because they have offered a vision that reflects the hopes I had for this world so many years ago. Nine years ago Deval Patrick came upon the scene and won my allegiance. But there have been others. Bob Reich. Howard Dean. Many more local candidates (and office-holders).
Yesterday, Don Berwick delivered a thrilling Convention Speech. I stood only 20 yards away from the podium and watched the sincerity in his face. There were times when I couldn’t applaud because I was overcome with emotion. I have heard the story of Isiah more than once before, but that didn’t stop the tears.
“He had two diseases,” Berwick said. “One was leukemia, which we cured. The other, he died from. Its name is injustice, it is inequality, it is poverty and, yes, it is racism.”
Don’s agenda to end these things is enough to enlist me in his campaign. But there is much more. I will be working hard for Don between now and November.