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Posts Tagged ‘vote’

I just couldn’t sit back and not claim my proud space as one of the anonymous pathetic bloggers who have garnered the dislike and active hatred of Sarah Palin. 

Yep, the election is over.  Nope, she doesn’t really matter any more.  And yet…  I think she has a political savvy.  Or at least takes instruction well.  She’s (or her keepers are) trying to keep herself in the spotlight for the future and at the same time, trying to cast herself as a victim, a pawn who was used for her political inexperience.  A woman who is trying to convince us that now she has experience and should have spoken out sooner with her homespun, this is how a household budget works, wisdom.

What I don’t want to forget is why I disliked her so much when she was running for vice-president.  She is disingenuous.  She makes rash decisions. (Like flying home to a small hospital after her water broke during a high risk pregnancy.)  She puts her own political future ahead of her family.  (Like forcing/allowing her 16 year old to marry when she became pregnant.)  She turns on a dime according to the political winds.  (Like the Alaskan oil fields.)  Oh, and she talks funny.

I know this is a stupid rant and not timely at all.  It certainly is not born of any of the qualities that I aspire to always live.  I want to be a womon of strength who maintains her inner peace and non-judgemental aura at all times.  Sadly, I feel this woman threatens that. And I allow it.   Well, actually, the idea of her ever having real power threatens that.  Which means I have a piece of fear that I need to examine.  Is it this woman?  No, not really.  I think it has to do with the dawning of real hope that I am having for my country.

At last, after a period of time that is as long as my students can remember, our country is on the cusp of being truly powerful.  Powerful in the sense of truth, integrity, and compassion.  People like Sarah Palin threaten that.  Small-minded, power-hungry, self-aggrandizing and cheap. 

I can see that I need to pray.  For Sarah, for those who live in fear, and for myself, to let go, allow the Goddess to do her work, and to simply trust.  It always works for me.

So, there’s the end of my rant.  The next post will be back to regular programming, I promise!

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I remember the very first time I ever had an awareness of politics and any feeling about a political candidate.  I was in probably fifth grade and I was riding the bus home from school.  I grew up on the edge of Appalachia, and the bus ride was a long one.  After all, school was in town and we weren’t.  Anyway, someone on the bus started talking about the upcoming election.  Everyone on the bus seemed to be aware of it but me.  Suddenly, from the back  – low but rhythmic, came the chant, “Nix-on, Nix-on, Nix-on!”  It built up speed and volume as the bus sped down the highway.  Students were screaming, kids were ripping paper out of their notebooks and making impromptu signs that they held up to the windows.  It was cacophonous and exhilarating and it. just. seemed. so. important.  We were chanting as if the very fate of the election rested on our backs and we were not about to let Nixon down!  In hindsight, perhaps we should have.

What strikes me about this whole episode is that I got off the bus that day just as ignorant as I had gotten on.  I felt like I was a part of a real community, but I had no idea what that community wanted or stood for.

Now I teach fifth graders.  Today we sat and watched Barack Obama being sworn in as our President.  I have made real effort this year to present both McCain and Obama to my students.   I watched them talk semi-intelligently about the candidates and I secretly thrilled when Obama won our mock election 56 to 6.  When I had to console my McCain supporting students after the real election, I knew they were paying attention.  We’ve spent the past month talking a little every day about the history that was made today.  It’s not my curriculum – I’m supposed to be teaching about the first thirteen colonies right now if I’m going to get to Westward expansion by May.  But this year, I let that go.  The here and now are much too important.  So we may not get those top scores on the Social Studies portion of the State Standardized test, but we’ll know why we watched this inauguration.  We’ll understand the atmosphere of rejoicing and hope that have surrounded us, and we will know what our community wants and what it stands for, and we will know what  it means to say, “Yes we can!”

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Vote

I woke up this morning at 4:30.  The weather was gorgeous and I was filled with excitement about going to cast my ballot.  I had been reading about projected long lines and was filled with anxiety.  Now, understand, I live in the suburbs.  The lines aren’t ever going to be tremendously long.  But I was worried.  So worried about having to stand in line, and maybe broken machines and all number of weird things that would prevent me from voting that I actually got in my car and drove the four blocks to my polling place an hour before they opened.  (Because I might get hit by a car or have to wait for a thousand people in line ahead of me if I walked.)  I sat in my car and read a book for forty minutes because I might not get a parking space if I left.  At 7:00, the polls opened.  By 7:08, I was back in my car, having cast my vote.  There actually were about 100 people in line behind me when I left.  All day, I have managed to ignore the news, writing my novel (I got over 3,400 words written today) and doing general housework.  I’ve been feeling good that, having cast my vote, my candidate will win.  Because that’s the way it’s supposed to go, isn’t it?  So now, it’s time for bed.  I’m feeling confident, I feel the change in the air.  It’s a catharsis.  But I check the election results and with a whopping 5% of the vote in, my candidate, Obama, is behind in the popular vote by .7%  He’s totally ahead in the electoral vote, but this does not satisfy me.  I want him to be leading by all standards every time I check in.  Childish? Yes.  Silly? Yes.  But what I want just the same.  I feel so strongly about this election and the mandate I feel it carries, that I find myself unable to understand why others would lean toward McCain. 

I talked to my mother today.  She voted for Obama, as did her husband.  My sister, who lives in Georgia, is choosing not to vote.  She’s a very intelligent woman, working on her doctoral dissertation.  I can’t fathom her decision.  She doesn’t like either candidate, and that I can understand, but to walk away from local and state decisions, too?  It seems so irresponsible.  I hope that I never become so apathetic that I fail to have a desire to impact my world in a positive, kind, loving and socially responsible way.

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