A few rambling thoughts on the upcoming election:
I’m sure I’ll be just as happy as you to put this election behind us. I’m weary of it all. They (“they” being those unfortunate enough to make politics their profession) say Virginia is a battleground state. I think that’s code for getting a box full of junk mail and half a dozen vote-for-me phone calls every day.
But it feels different this time, doesn’t it? If I’ve counted right, this makes the fifth presidential election in which I’ll take part. All of them were important, of course. This one seems more so. I’ve spoken with a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds of late, but all agree that there is a sense of things coming undone. Of unraveling. It’s scary, they tell me. I agree.
I also can’t remember an election so divisive. I’ve seen people on Twitter and Facebook vow violence if a certain candidate wins or loses. Read stories of voter fraud and vandalism. It’s as though we’re all in high school again, like the older we get, the younger we act.
Lately, this has all been about women. Women, they (there’s that word again) say, will decide this election. And since it’s become all about women, it’s also become all about abortion. Call me ignorant, but I don’t really understand that. Aren’t women just as worried as men about where they’ll find work or whether they’re going to put gas in the car or groceries in the cabinet (because nowadays, it’s tough to do both)?
Speaking of which: There have been some otherwise fairly intelligent men saying some very unintelligent things about that subject lately, haven’t there? All pounced upon and analyzed and ridiculed. I would imagine it’s tough for a victim of rape to hear that the child she carries was God’s will (and do you think it is God’s will? That question’s been bouncing around in my mind of late). I think I’d like to hear the story of a rape victim who carried her child to term, loved that baby, watched it grow. I’d like to hear that child say he or she is thankful to be alive. Because certainly there are some, yes?
Let’s get this out of the way—there is not a politician in Washington who speaks for “the common man.” I don’t think any of those people understand what any of us have to go through.
I overheard a student say this the other day: “We gotta do all we can to get Obama re-elected. I gotta have my money.” I wish I would’ve asked what she meant by that. I didn’t. Partly because that’s the sort of conversation I really don’t like to have. Mostly because I was afraid of her answer. Either way, it’s sad that someone her age would think the only possible way she will ever get by is if the government pitches in to help her.
A house across town sports a Don’t Tread on Me flag, three Romney signs, and an empty chair in the front yard (Clint Eastwood style). It’s a beautiful Cape Cod, a very friendly elderly couple. Both of whom are transplants from up North. Both of whom are black. Those Tea Party people, they’re not all racist rednecks.
Just a few more days of all of this, then it’ll be over. Hopefully.