Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Moments of Challenge and Clarity

All over the Internet, people are demanding to know if I voted. Yes, I did, of course I did. And now here I am so late, instead of joining in the nail-biting, I can report some concrete results:

McCain took Upper Allen Elementary School. But Obama took the larger, and therefore more significant, Mechanicsburg Middle School.

I voted early this morning. It went very well, and afterward, I drove away feeling excited. First, because after all the crap, all the fatigue-inducing, anger-driving campaigning, we were finally at the important stuff.

I was also excited because I'd had some opinions challenged. I'd done the challenging, and it's always interesting to see myself turned, figuratively, on my own head.

I kept thinking, "If anyone is undecided at this late juncture, they're idiots." And yet I, myself, was undecided. Not between McCain and Obama, there was no question there, but between the candidate toward which I leaned and the person I thought was best equipped to run the country.

I also don't hold to the idea of a spoiler. Yes, I know that enough votes for someone like Ralph Nader or that guy with the big ears who ran in the 80s (why, oh why, can't I remem--ROSS PEROT. That's it. Phew.) can end up putting the candidate you REALLY don't want in office. But I think it's bullshit to let that push you into a vote you don't want to make. I think it's important to vote your conscience.

So I did.

Believe me, I angsted about it for a long time. One of the two official candidates, I *really* didn't want in office. And with the ass-backward system we have in place, my one vote really doesn't matter. But I wanted to be an active part of the process, too, not a passive one, and voting a write-in kind of sets me aside.

In the end, when I started tapping that screen, there was only one thing I could do. And I knew the poll assistants knew exactly what I was doing as my machine beeped and booped way more times than expected. But I felt really, really good about it. It was the right thing to do.

J was watching live results tonight as the kids got ready for bed. Number One was telling us about the rousing debate she got into today with some of her classmates about abortion (a mixed gender participation, too!) and Number Two was deciding how she wanted to be informed in the morning (I'm to tell her who took Texas and California, and when she goes to kiss Daddy goodbye, he's to let her know who won).

All in all, I don't think I could have witnessed a better election day, personally speaking.

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