is something that I knew had to be, but I couldn’t quite believe could be. I’ve been terrified that somehow, the fear would get to people and they would go with the familiar. This morning, I got to my polling place (opened at 7am) at 6:30am– 10 minutes before anyone else with nothing to do but wonder if I was at the wrong door. Once the signs were out, I spent 15 minutes with a factory worker, a gay man, and a black man who was voting for the first time. I got AMERICA without even trying, and we all seemed to be of like minds, and we were all ready to wait in line for however long it took to make our feelings known.
I remember, growing up, knowing my parents voted straight party (Republican). I knew the candidate that they really wanted to win had been knocked out early, and they were just voting for the lesser of two evils. They did it again this election, I’m sure. I remember four years ago, doing the same thing. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that both of their children have been on public assistance that their party opposes, or that a college education doesn’t guarantee a good job the way it did when they were starting out.
Even when my father was in the North Dakota State Legislature–the only state that still has a law banning co-habitation between males and females on the books–he couldn’t remember how he personally voted on that piece of legislation, even though one of his two children (me) lived with her boyfriend at the time. Holding elected public office had been a dream of my father’s for most of his and my life, by this point, but once he got what he wanted, he seemed to lose interest.
I went to school in England immediately after Bush was elected, and never brought up politics with the locals. As a result of my accent, I only talked politics with the locals, and they had very little to say that was kind. My protests that I hadn’t actually voted for Bush or that most Americans hadn’t voted for Bush, carried no weight. The Brits drank Budweiser and smoked Marlboros and told me that America was doomed– before 9-11.
This time, the election really means something.
I’m both ecstatic and terrified by this victory because it’s what I really want. There’s nowhere else to assign blame. I feel like if Obama fails, or disappoints me, he’ll really be disappointing ME. I feel like if this administration doesn’t work, things will become worse than we can imagine.
I’ve had one boss in my long working career who I felt was really a good boss. I respected him, I wanted to please him, and I felt like he really had my best interests at heart. I can’t fix America, and I don’t want to, but the man who has been chosen is someone I actually believe in. I want him to continue to make me believe.
I don’t want to let him down.
I don’t want him to let me down.