04 November 2008

How it feels

I have measured out my life in polling booths.

1988: I'm excited because it's my first time. But I'm not too excited, because I know that the uninspiring Democratic candidate is going to lose.

1992: I'm guardedly hopeful. The campaign has been so weird that anything could happen. I'm voting for the Democratic candidate I had been fascinated and repulsed by during the primaries, voting for a Democrat in the White House rather than the candidate himself.

1996: I'm happy. The President has exceeded my low expectations of him: the past four years have been the only time in my political consciousness when I've regularly seen headlines containing good news. And he's going to win.

2000: I'm literally nauseous. I've voted for the smart, corporate-friendly Democratic centrist against the numbskull, corporate-friendly Republican faux centrist. I feel like my vote has ratified a corrupt process.

2004: I'm anxious. Over the past six months I've given my voice and my money to another bland centrist Democrat because I'm so horrified by the incumbent Republican war criminal. I'm simultaneous hopeful that he'll win — God, please, anybody, just stop the bleeding — but I'm mortified that it's even close.


I've voted for a man who is less than I'd wish for, but more than I thought I could hope for: liberal ... and pragmatic ... and the most talented politician I expect I'll ever see ... and smart about policy ... and symbolic of a movement to shatter the poisonous political alignments that Nixon created and Reagan cemented ... and who is going to win.

I want to dance.


Kate said...

I have been dancing since 6 o'clock this morning.


Love ya,

Veleda said...

It's interesting to see your process on this and realize our age difference. I've only voted for two presidential elections - 2000, 2004. I was technically of age in 1996, however, only just barely and at that point was part of the I'm young and my vote doesn't count crew. That died the minute i left my teens.

2000 - was ...omg.. how can ANYONE vote for this guy? I better vote!

2004 - was.. THESE (in reference to my fellow americans) are NOT MY PEOPLE. I need to get out of here.

2008 ... was.. is.. maybe we can actually change something.. maybe..