November 4, 2008 :: Let the Games Begin.
I spent a little over three hours in line this morning to cast my vote. This is longer than I would wait, standing outside in the sun without a chair, a bottle of water or a bathroom, for nearly anything not life-threatening. And, if I do say so myself, I am a bit proud of myself, because years ago, I would have cared very little about the outcome of any vote. I believed the big "they" were all liars, all cheats, all the lesser or greater of some evil. I know many people who still believe this. Hell, I'm married to one and share half my genes with another. (FYI, Blake at least is voting, so there's hope. But he has serious doubts about any real change coming from any outcome, which I think is kind of sad.) Anyway, I used to be there, but somewhere in the last 8 years I stopped the nihilistic reasoning cold turkey.
Two points to be made here:
One - Simply, if you can believe in even a slightly bad presidency (and I'd call our most recent one quite a few uglier names than that, as would most of the rest of the world), then you must believe in the potential for a good one. A transformative one. One extreme cannot exist without the other.
Two - We're all in this together. We are all Americans, no matter our affiliation, and throwing stones calling names and burning people in effigy serves nothing but a deeper, more treacherous split between us, and no smart entity faces its enemies divided. People, our last election was lost/won by 537 votes. Quantifiable, irrefutable proof that yours matters. Play paper-rock-scissors with the person next to you to find an answer; or, search your soul. I don't care. Just VOTE.
I have some very specific views on a number of the issues at hand this time around. I also live in a nice blue bubble of like-minded individuals. My stance isn't challenged very often, and as such, my debating skills are way rusty. So, instead of ranting about my stance on prop 8 is (even though I'd really like to) or telling you what my uterus wants to say every time someone mentions repealing Roe vs Wade (too many four-letter words for this site), I'll defer to people much smarter than I.
The brilliant Audrey has this to say: "...what was tearing us apart, what IS tearing us apart is our divisiveness. Our willingness to attack each other, from the far right or the far left, our willingness to hate. A fevered delirium of opinion and rude behavior has taken the place of reason and fact. And it’s apparent across all party lines."
Sweet Juniper, channeling Lincoln: "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."