Thursday, November 06, 2008
Believe it or not, it's time for the Blogblast for Peace hosted by Mimi Lenox. And what better time than after the election of a man who promises just that: Peace. Please note I am a hopeless liberal, so bear with me (or not) for one political post...
Our Election Day started with bringing our kids (who had no school) to the polls right around 8 am, which is really early for this family. We found parking at our local school and walked inside, the kids pretending to slalom ski past the political signs in the grass. Apparently, we did not give them the pep talk about how serious voting was and they were totally unruly throughout this process. There was no line at our precinct, so we gathered our ballots from a fellow soccer mom and headed for the booths. With two kids and two parents, we should have played man-to-man defense, but we didn't have our strategy in place. We ducked into our booths, and concentrated very hard to fill in the bubble for Barack Obama / Joe Biden, while the kids kept running under the short curtains between mom and dad's booths and the (luckily) empty booth in between. And for the Massachusetts questions? I told people that the laid off dog track workers could have marijuana as a consolation, but they can't buy it from the tax break (see the Massachusetts ballot question results if this makes no sense to you). Before I left the booth, I snapped a few shots of my ballot with my cell phone, which I quickly threw up on iPhone bytes. The kids were thrilled to get "I voted" stickers and we headed our separate ways. At work, I thought about the legality of posting a photograph of the ballot and decided to take it down because of this Massachusetts law. Throughout the day, I saw lots of ballot pictures go up on Flickr and tried to alert people that it may be illegal in their state with this link (so much for the hippy liberal attitude - only liberal if it doesn't possibly land me jail). Today I posted a discussion question on the topic in Flickr's US Election 2008 group which is full of ballot pictures.
At the end of Election Day, we sat with bated breath until the official announcement. Was it really possible that the country could rally for this brave young man with a message of peace? After the debacle of 2004, and seeing the country given back to the worst president in history, we weren't so sure of our fellow Americans. Doug kept saying that we would seriously have to consider moving to Canada if the election went to McCain. Yes, he is a patriot who has dedicated his life to serve his country, but his policies and choice of running mate were simply unacceptable to us. Is it really okay to have someone "just like you" running the country? Dan Klass of The Bitterest Pill put it best, "I WANT an elitist President. I don’t want a president who I could see myself 'having a beer' with. I want a president who (whom?) is so educated, so knowledgeable and so charismatic that if I were ever in their presence, I would want to run from the room or bask in their glory." Speaking of podcasts, I have seriously been thinking of dropping The Daily Breakfast. I love Father Roderick dearly, but lately all the talk about abortion being the most important issue (number of abortions greatly outnumber the casualties of war) and gay marriage crumbling society has made me feel physically ill. I don't mind hearing opposing points of view, but if it totally stresses me out every morning it is not worth it. I love agreeing with my liberal set of podcasters like Cush and Dan, but I hate just running with the pack. And I am so disappointed that California's Proposition 8 was passed. At least gay marriage is still legal in Massachusetts.
The last two appearances where I saw McCain, on Saturday Night Live and in his consolation speech, I was really impressed. It was like a re-run of the Hillary consolation speech. Where were these people during the campaign? But I was especially moved by Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech. Doug kept complaining that the pundits kept focusing on the fact that Obama was African American because Doug only saw him as an intelligent, charismatic leader without race (similar to how he doesn't think of me as Chinese). But I disagree. It IS a big deal that an African American was elected President. And I am so proud to be an American now.
This election has been so divisive and it is finally time to unite as a country. Forty-seven percent of the US population did not vote for Barack Obama. I am sure that he will win their trust and support. It will be a long and bumpy road out of this mess we're in, but finally there is inspiration and direction. Things will not change overnight. The Onion put out this story shortly after the announcement, Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job. It is totally irreverent humor, but so very true. Peace.