We can make a difference this time. A HUGE difference.
Our Democratic primary election is almost always irrelevant, coming too late in the season to really matter. I recall my mother and father being proud that West Virginia made such a huge difference in the 1960 presidential election because it was thought that a Roman Catholic JFK couldn't possibly win here, and when he did - by a landslide - it put him over the top in the eyes of the country's pundits. The meager number of delegates he won didn't do it; rather it was the statement that was made by the way we overcame our stereotypes, xenophobia and prejudice and said that this candidate transcended those things because we thought he was the right person for the job.
This time it could be bigger.
According to all the pundits Hillary Clinton should dominate Tuesday's vote in West Virginia because of simple demographics and the the perception that we won't vote for an African-American. She is sitting precariously on the edge looking down into the abyss of defeat in this nomination process. She is clinging to the "certainty" of a victory in our state to keep her life support going for one more week, to keep the fund raising going for one more week, to keep the contest alive for one more week.
We can end it.
If all of the people who are unlikely to vote (which sadly is the majority of our registered voters) were to show up on Tuesday and drop Obama's name in the ballot box the race will be over by Wednesday morning. Add a few "undecided"voters to the total and the defeat would be stunning. It would be of historical proportions. We could tell our grandchildren about the time that West Virginia made a huge difference in the outcome of a national election. We could tell them about the time when people put aside their prejudice and voted with the majority of the country for a presidential candidate.
I can't change your mind if you are for Hillary, and I don't want to. Vote your conscience. And if you have strong ideological reasons to vote for either candidate I am not tryng to convince you otherwise. But if you are undecided or one of those people who won't go to the polls on Tuesday (or before!) because you aren't interested or have been disillusioned in the process, go vote for Obama because it could be the most inluential vote you will ever make. This is your opportunity to make a difference and do it on the national stage.
We can put West Virginia on the map. Just think of the real benefits we would reap if we asserted ourselves as political players. Who knows? Maybe, just maybe, people will quit asking us if we know their aunt in Richmond.