I’m Voting Today

Because when the Iraq War began, my little sister was in high school. She’ll graduate college this spring.

Because my little brother is of draft age.

Because there’s a picture on my bulletin board of my cousin’s husband in uniform, and I want him to stay home and safe for her.

Because Congress can have my grandmother’s Social Security when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

Because my mother took me to church and I took all that “you shall not side with the great against the powerless” stuff seriously.

Because my parents’ retirement should be secure.

Because in the second grade I, the whitest girl in the history of Caucasia, played Harriet Tubman in a school play and never got over her heroism.

Because my high school English teacher should be paid like a star running back.

Because the circle should be unbroken.

Because Obama went down to Harvey and told those scumbag politicians to stop lying and cheating and stealing.

Because I went to Denver.

Because you all did, too.

Because there’s a school within walking distance that needs textbooks, and a new boiler, and patches for the holes in the roof. Because I can see from here neighborhoods that are like demilitarized zones. Because our cities need rebuilding with American steel, with American hands.

Because it’s my right, and people have died for it.

Because John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln did die for it.

Because it will make me feel good for the rest of the week, of the year, of President Obama’s term.

Because John F. Kerry would have been an extraordinary president.

Because Al Gore would have been an extraordinary president.

Because George McGovern and Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale would have been extraordinary presidents.

Because Hillary Clinton said, quoting Harriet Tubman, “Keep going.”

Because Chris Dodd said, “If I did not stand here today my conscience would not let me rest.”

Because Howard Dean said “YEAAAAARRGH.”

Because of all of you in the Crack Van.

Because of my two beautiful goddaughters, who need a world that lives up to their strength and grace.

Because it’s the job in front of me today.

Because we get back up.

A.

16 thoughts on “I’m Voting Today

  1. Because my mom got her heart broken when McGovern lost, and hadn’t worked for a campaign since. Till now.
    Because I understand history, and know that there are moments when a choice by a nation can change things for a long, long time. And because our democracy actually allows US to make that choice.
    Because the last eight years have been such a stream of hurt and shame and anger, I want to feel good and proud and happy for the next eight.
    Because there are people all over the world counting on us to get it right this time, because what we do affects them, too.

  2. Wow… And see I was just voting for the sticker…
    Seriously the Missus and I are heading to the small polling place near the 9-to-5 police station in in our quaint little hamlet where I can’t see demilitarized zones, but I can see a cute little post office that only gets mail out every couple days. We’re doing it for The Midget, who is probably being oversugared by her grandparents at this very moment.
    It’ll be strange as I won’t be helping people cover an election for the first time in almost a decade. I guess I get to be one of those people on the output end this year. Then again, I’ve got you guys, keys to the Crack Van and a chance to share the love. Decent trade.
    Onward.

  3. I just came back from voting. The line was 2 blocks long when I got to my polling place at 7, and was even longer when I left at 8:30. Even though it was a little disorganized, even though my registration had been completely lost, and I had to use a special, provisional ballot, it felt really good.
    It felt good that the polling workers, even though they were overwhelmed and confused, were smiling. It felt good to fill in that arrow for a candidate that, while not perfect, I believed in. It felt good to vote for people in other categories who shared my values closely, if not completely. It felt good when the special voting lady hugged me goodbye after I turned in my ballot.
    I smiled the whole way home.
    (I posted this on my facebook too, and LJ, so Jude, you’ve seen it way too much).

  4. I was putting my little almost 3 year old daughter to bed last night and I told her something important is happening today and I started choking up. I hope she understands someday all that had to happen for this day to come. All the garbage we’ve put up with for the last 8 years. Because in George Bush’s world, he had one day of accountability, election day 2004. Well, let’s make it 2, buddy boy. My vote for Obama today? You can take it as a vote against you. I reject you. I reject your policies and I reject your philosphy. I reject your win at any cost mentality. I reject your lack of candor with America, and I reject your ignorance of nuance. You, Mr. Bush, are fired.

  5. Because I want to go back to three separate branches of government.
    Because I want us to be the good guys again.
    When I was voting today, after I had filled in the paper ballot, I wanted to hug it to my heart. Couldn’t though, because people would have stared and it might have gotten all crumpled and been rejected by the voting machine. But I wanted to.

  6. Because tomorrow I put my son on a plane, and on Thanksgiving day, he lands in Kuwait, on his way to Afghanistan. He deserves a serious commander in chief. I’ll do my part to see he gets one.
    Because the Constitution does matter, dammit, and I’m tired of it being treated with contempt instead of reverence. That document, that is our civic Bible, our sacred text. Treat it that way.
    Because we’re drowning in bad, with serious problems, and we need serious solutions, and serious leaders, and we’ve had nothing close to that for 8 long years. I’ve served my time in the desert. Time to drink from the sweet spring of the potential of all we can be, and regaining our standing in the world, and fighting for all of us, instead of the least of us with the most.
    Because this man, his campaign and his words and his decency, it gives me hope and courage and belief.
    So I’m off to vote.

  7. I thought I was the whitest woman in Caucasia! (Blonde hair, blonde skin, invisible eyebrows, no ass…)
    I’m voting because in 7th grade I couldn’t take my best friend Devonne with me to the Country Club pool, and now my son can go with his friend D. wherever he wants. But D. will not have the same doors open for him, especially as he grows older, that will be flung wide for blond, green-eyed L. And until D. has the very same opportunities and expectations as L., this country will not have lived up to its promise.

  8. Because I’ve lived 1/2 my life under Bush presidencies, and they suck.
    Because my old high school is a great school, and has to fight and claw and scratch every year just to keep their heads above water.
    Because no more in my name.
    Because my great-gramma, and my great-great-gramma marched the streets of Newark and New York and Washington to make sure I could.
    Because women and men in Harare got beaten up and shot at, and still came back the next time.
    Because my congressman is a rocket scientist, and one of the good guys, and has been fighting the good fight for 8 years.
    Because my little brother is fired up and ready to go even though he can’t vote for two more years, and I remember how that feels.

  9. Thank you. Thank you so much from out here where we can’t vote for anyone but we’re watching with peeled eyes and indrawn breath, because itdoes matter. You have the privilege of being largely immune to the actions of the rest of the world; we do not have the privilege of being immune to yours. I hope most of you do the right thing this time.

  10. Not voting today, because I couldn’t wait. Voted on the 2nd day of early voting in Texas.
    Voting because not voting won’t make tomorrow better than yesterday.
    Voting because we need Rick Noriega in the Senate.
    Voting because the Constitution matters.

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