Thursday, November 04, 2004

Aged like a fine wine...not!

I've been doing the election thing and the sick thing for the past couple of days but was going through blog withdrawal.

Going through this election and reading everyone's blog posts is really making me feel my age. Lots of people voting for the first time in a presidential race...poor hopeful souls. Sad to believe it's my 3rd presidential race to vote. And, while I am as anti-Bush as they come, I can't say I'm shocked. Very sad though--I allowed myself a glimmer of hope when I saw the high election turnout. One credo I know to be true is to never underestimate the stupidity of the American public. For the most part, we are not a country of free thinkers. We think and vote the way we were raised and the way our communities want us to. I forget the statistic, but one's political leanings are largely determined by the political leanings of one's parents. It's a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped in order to affect real change in this country.

I spent most of election day in this weird, sad reminiscent state. I couldn't help thinking about election night four years ago...the night I began to lose my idealism. Don't get me wrong...I still believe in change and that we can make this country a better place, but I am so much more cynical and cautious. Four years ago I had taken a leave of absence from my job and moved to Nashville for 2 months to work on the Gore campaign. It was exciting and empowering...heady stuff. I remember spending most of the day calling radio stations and trying to get them to talk about the election abuses going on...people being turned away from the polls. I remember watching the results come in on election night and screaming with joy and whooping it up as we began to hear we had won key swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. There was joy and bonding in knowing we had all worked 15-hour days for weeks to make this happen. We hadn't slept in the past 2 days at all and were wired on caffeine. We had our passes to the victory party, and I had friends who had flown into Nashville to join me in the celebration. We thought we had won. Next thing I know something has happened...Florida is not ours...they're calling the election differently. Gore is about to concede. Everyone is either in a state of shock or in tears. This one woman (Candy), who has been heading up radio ops at the DNC forever, was sobbing. Wait...we're not conceding because something fishy is going on. A light of hope=more hugging. Looks like we're not going to the party but hanging by the TV at headquarters. We're there for hours. There is no resolution. We all role back to the apartment around 4 am. My poor friends have finally made it back there, too, after not having seen me all day. We all crash. The next day headquarters is like a ghost town. We're scheduled to leave in a couple of days, and we don't know what to do. I feel like a zombie...this feeling does not go away over the next couple of weeks. Lots of counting...lots of bickering...a court fight...asshole takes office.

And, if we thought it would be bad, we had no idea how bad he'd make it. So, you see, I just couldn't get excited or involved in this election. I couldn't find the hope within me to see that saner minds would prevail. I promise you this...I will spend the next four years fighting for something better, fighting for what's right, fighting for a new beginning. To quote Edward Abbey, "I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards."

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