November 4, 2008
Last night I was just wishing it would all be over. Surfing the channels I heard expert after expert expounding on the horse-race possibilites, "If McCain carries Pennsylvania..." "If Obama carries Ohio and Indiana..." and on and on into the night. I am so tired of such blather that my head aches, to say nothing of my cardiovascular system and my blood pressure. Study their positions, listen to their speeches, and make up your mind. Try to accept the possibility that the person leading the party you usually oppose may have something to say other than the one your knee-jerk impulse tells you to support. We've had 21 months to think about this, and sure enough, some people have changed their minds, but today's the day to go stand in line and vote.
I've already voted. Polls open in New Jersey at 6 A.M., and I was in the line at about seven. A nice, healthy turnout, but not discouraging because it was a quick vote and everybody seemed upbeat if not downright excited. At my polling place, it was mostly white people, but a handsome young black man, looking for his line, smiled at me and said, "Look at this!" and I said, "It's great!" and he said, "It sure is! It's awesome!" A couple in the line next to me had a stroller with two little kids in it and one kept saying, "Is Daddy going to vote? Is Mommy going to vote?"
I have a friend who tells me most of the people he admires agree with him that "One man, one vote" is an absurd system that will never work. He recommends books on the subject. Another, who writes a Hoboken blog, says it's sad that given the choice, most Americans are going to vote against their best interests.
I really can't agree with this. I don't know how it's going to turn out, and I'll admit that I don't always think the best person in the race wins, but I like the system and I love the process of voting.
No one can deny that this is the most important election of our lifetimes. I grew up with old men in the White House--FDR, Truman, Eisenhower--and was too young to vote in 1960 when John F. Kennedy ran. But I haven't felt the electricity in the air like that on voting day since then. I've watched John McCain carefully and considered the possibility of voting for him because I remember him from the Straight Talk Express days. I decided not to vote for him for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that I am genuinely enthusiastic about his opponent. Good reason to take an active part, I'd say.
I don't have time to write a real political entry this morning. I have work to do. I'm off to Obama headquarters to help get out the vote.
My readers may not vote the way I do, but I'm sure they believe in elections and will cast the vote for the person they feel most qualified. As for me, they're waiting for me to take my shift.
Tomorrow will be another day. But this is the big one.